The ACLU’s 2016 celebration of liberty and justice for all features Bryan Stevenson, visionary social justice advocate and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, and celebrates Harvey Silverglate, the ACLU’s 2016 Roger Baldwin Award recipient, and renowned portrait photographer Elsa Dorfman.
Featuring Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative
Bryan Stevenson is one of the country’s most visionary legal thinkers and social justice advocates. A MacArthur fellow and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, Stevenson is a founding leader of the movement against mass incarceration in the U.S. Nobel Peace Laureate Desmond Tutu called Stevenson “America’s young Nelson Mandela,” and he was named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People for 2015. Stevenson’s memoir, Just Mercy, is the story of a young lawyer fighting on the frontlines of a country in thrall to extreme punishments and careless justice. It is an inspiring story of unbreakable humanity in the most desperate circumstances, and a powerful indictment of our broken justice system and the twisted values that allow it to continue.
Celebrating 2016 Roger Baldwin Award recipient Harvey Silverglate and Elsa Dorfman, renowned portrait photographer
Harvey Silverglate is an attorney and writer who has advocated in defense of civil liberties since the late 1960s. Currently of counsel to the Boston law firm of Zalkind, Duncan & Bernstein LLP, Silverglate specializes in criminal defense, civil liberties, and academic freedom/student rights law. He was a long-time member of the ACLU of Massachusetts Board of Directors and served a term as Board President. He is the co-founder and a current board member of The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), and the co-author of The Shadow University: The Betrayal of Liberty on America’s Campuses, and the author of Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent. Silverglate contributes frequently to a number of publications as a columnist on criminal justice and civil liberties, and is currently working on a book recommending specific reforms to state and federal criminal justice systems aimed at reducing convictions of the innocent. He has lectured widely, and has taught at the University of Massachusetts/College III/Boston and at the Harvard Law School. He lives in Cambridge with his wife, the portrait photographer Elsa Dorfman.
Elsa Dorfman is a Massachusetts native. She was born in the Richardson House at Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge in 1937. At six days, the usual birthing period in those days, she moved with her parents to her maternal grandmother’s flat near the Little Brown Jug on Morton Street. Then to four rooms in Roxbury and two sisters. It was those years that gave Elsa her shtetl personality.
While at Newton High School she spent a summer with a family in Kassel, Germany under the auspice of the American Field Service. It was 1954, with all that implies. At Tufts, she majored in French literature and wrote for the newspaper. She spent her junior year in Paris being a bohemian. Her work with poets and writers began in 1960 when she worked at Grove Press as a girl Friday, in the parlance of the day.
A master of freelance jobs and with a willingness to try anything cerebral (a coward of the physical), Elsa picked up a camera in 1965. David Godine published her first book, Elsa’s Housebook, A Woman’s Photojournal in 1974. It was in 1980 that Dorfman began to work with the Polaroid 20×24, shortly after Edwin Land developed the camera and the film for it. It was a great match. Fast forward to now: Polaroid is over and Dorfman is running out of film, but is still clicking away.
In 1976 Dorfman married Harvey A. Silverglate. She had known him, his devotion to his causes, like the ACLU, and his clients, his energy and his sensibilities for nine years. Buyer beware.