About

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio is headquartered at the Max Wohl Civil Liberties Center in Cleveland. The organization also maintains a regional office in Columbus. 

The Ohio ACLU has received numerous awards over the years for its cutting-edge work defending civil liberties, including:

  • Agency of the Year Award for 2014 from the National Association of Social Workers – Ohio Chapter for our innovative integrated advocacy staffing model, our work on cutting-edge civil liberties issues, and our commitment to NASW and the social work profession.
  • Policy manager Shakyra Diaz, who received the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Courage Award from the Women of Color Foundation for her work as an agent of change.
  • Nonprofit Excellence Award, presented by the Ohio Association of Nonprofit Organizations (OANO) in recognition of our groundbreaking and transformative “Campaign to End Debtors’ Prison,” detailed in the report “The Outskirts of Hope: How Ohio’s Debtors’ Prisons Are Ruining Lives and Cost Communities.” Read our blog to find out more about the award.
  • Impact Award, presented by the national ACLU for our outstanding “Stop the Ohio Patriot Act” campaign.
  • Social Justice Member of the Year Award, presented by Greater Cleveland Community Shares for our education and advocacy work related to the USA Patriot Act.
  • New Blood Prize, presented by the national ACLU in recognition of our youth outreach programs.
  • Pathfinder Award, presented by GLSEN Cleveland (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network) for our advancement of LGBT rights for students.
  • Certificate of Achievement, presented by the Ohio Association of Nonprofit Organizations for our statewide newsletter, ACLU News.

The ACLU of Ohio is an affiliate of the national ACLU. Founded in 1920, the national ACLU includes more than 500,000 members in all 50 states, making it our country’s foremost advocate of individual rights.

The ACLU of Ohio has nearly 30,000 members and supporters statewide.

We are supported by annual dues and contributions from supporters, as well as grants from private foundations. We do not receive any government funding.

Through education, litigation, and lobbying the ACLU seeks to preserve civil liberties for each new generation.

Because the ACLU has a limited budget and staff, it is impossible to represent every person whose civil liberties have been violated. Instead, the organization tries to select cases which will impact the greatest number of people — those cases which have the potential to break new ground or establish new precedents to strengthen our freedoms.

Mission Statement

The mission of the ACLU of Ohio is to aid in maintaining and extending constitutional and other fundamental rights, liberties, privileges, and immunities, and to take all legitimate action in furtherance of that object without political partisanship.

ACLU of Ohio — 501(c)(4) and

ACLU of Ohio Foundation — 501(c)(3)

The ACLU is composed of two non-profit corporations.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio (“the Union”) is a 501(c)(4) membership organization. Funded primarily by the dues of its members, it engages in membership, grassroots organizing and lobbying activities to promote civil liberties. Dues and other contributions to the ACLU of Ohio are not tax-deductible.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Foundation (“the Foundation”) engages in education and litigation. It has been granted 501(c)(3) status by the Internal Revenue Service, making contributions to the Foundation tax deductible. The Foundation is funded primarily by generous donations from ACLU supporters.