Resist. Reclaim. Restore Your Rights!

Friday, July 25

Cocktails, Conversation, and the Constitution: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Resist. Reclaim. Restore Your Rights! launches with an exciting evening cocktail reception.


Saturday, July 26

Registration: 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Continental breakfast provided

Opening Plenary Session: 9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

Tim Young, director, Office of the Ohio Public Defender

Room: Governor’s Ballroom

Session One: 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Too Poor to Pay: When Poverty Leads to Jail Time

Room: Legislative A; *CEU credits

Session details

The U.S. Constitution, the Ohio Constitution, and Ohio law all prohibit jailing individuals for unpaid fines because they are too poor to pay. Despite being unconstitutional and illegal, these debtors’ prison practices are alive and well throughout Ohio. It’s bad policy that destroys the lives of people already facing adversity while costing taxpayers even more. This conversation will focus on how people in Ohio are impacted by debtors’ prisons and what the ACLU is doing to stop them.

Resources: Stay updated on ACLU of Ohio’s advocacy to eliminate debtors’ prison practices in Ohio.

Are You Listening to Me? The Intersection of Privacy & Technology

Room: Executive

Session details

History has shown that the government’s appetite for information can never be satisfied. With new technologies – cell phones, license plate scanners, and social media – it has never been easier for them to build a profile about your life. Attend this workshop to learn about the intersection of privacy and technology, and how activists can ensure privacy laws keep up with technological advancements.

Resources: Presenter Dennis Hirsch talked about “The Glass House Effect: Why Big Data Really Is the New Oil, and What we Can Do About It,” which is featured in the Future of Privacy Forum occasional paper series.

Learn about all of ACLU of Ohio’s work on privacy.

Locked Up Doesn’t Mean Locked Out: Voting Rights of Formerly and Currently Incarcerated People

Room: Legislative B; *CEU credits

Session details

Last year, over 20,000 Ohioans were released from prison. All are eligible to vote. So is every Ohioan who is serving time for a misdemeanor or awaiting trial for felony charges. Increasing ties to the community through activities like voting decreases the likelihood of future incarceration. Learn how to engage currently and formerly incarcerated voters and empower people to change their communities.

Resources: Keep up-to-date on voting rights.

Two Clauses, Two Rights: Religion and the Constitution

Room: Judicial; *CLE credits

Session details

Since its inception, the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (RFRA) has raised questions about religious liberty and First Amendment rights. Most importantly, where do one person’s rights end and another’s begin? Attend this workshop to learn more about RFRA and how it is impacting communities across the country. Also, learn how one family took on their local school board’s efforts to endorse religion, and how you can protect First Amendment rights in your community.


Akron Law Review of Greece v. Galloway

Freedom of Religion vs. Individual Right.

Stay up-to-date on religious liberty issues.

Session Two: 11:10 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.

Cruel and Unusual: Is Death Penalty Reform on the Horizon?

Room: Judicial A

Session details

“But what then is capital punishment but the most premeditated of murders…”

–Albertus Camus

Learn more about the Ohio Supreme Court’s final report and recommendations on the death penalty. Find out about efforts to ensure that individuals with severe mental illness are not executed by the state. Hear how activists can get involved in efforts to end capital punishment in Ohio.

Resources: See the Ohio Supreme Court and The Ohio State Bar Association’s Joint Task Force Review of Ohio’s Death Penalty. Read the mental health section discussed in the workshop.

Stay up-to-date on the death penalty in Ohio.

Homeland (In)Security: How All Levels of Law Enforcement Work Together to Violate Civil Liberties

Room: Executive; *CLE credits

Session details

Fusion centers collect and share information with local, state, and federal law enforcement, the military, and the private sector. These intelligence hubs have huge budgets – but little oversight. They have been criticized by Congress for creating “useless” reports while completely invading innocent Americans’ lives. Learn more about fusion centers and what can be done to reign in their powers.

Resources: Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan Tip Sheet; Excerpts from the Senate Subcommittee on Fusion Centers; Musumerci Settlement; and Fusion Center Resources.

Online & Engaged: Voting Rights for People with Disabilities

Room: Legislative B; *CLE/CEU credits

Session details

One in five Americans has a disability, and many more will eventually become disabled sometime in their lives. However, people with disabilities are too often ignored by politicians and encounter barriers to the ballot box. Learn about the ACLU’s recent campaign to expand pending online voter registration legislation to be fully accessible to people with disabilities. Find out how you can help inform others about their voting rights and work to expand the voting rights of all Ohioans.

Resources: Understanding Online Voter Registration, Voting Issues Facing Individuals Who Are Deaf or Have Hearing Loss and Resources.

Keep up-to-date on voting rights.

Reproductive Rights: More than Just Abortion Rights

Room: Judicial; *CLE credits

Session details

What do you think about when someone says “reproductive rights”? Do you envision protestors outside an abortion clinic? The fight for birth control coverage? What about employment security during pregnancy?

While we tend to focus on abortion, women’s reproductive rights encompass so much more. Join us for a discussion on what your rights are and how to join our work to protect them.

Resources: Learn more about ACLU of Ohio’s lawsuit against HB59.

Lunch Plenary Session: 12:20 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project

Room: Governor’s Ballroom

Session Three: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Villains v. Victims: Perceptions of Substance Abuse

Room: Legislative A; *CEU credits

Session details

Systemic bias in drug law enforcement did not end with the reduction of the crack/cocaine disparity. Join us for a conversation about the different societal perceptions of substance use, criminalization, and treatment and how these perspectives impact drug policy changes and equity in Ohio.

Resources: Drug Policy: The Numbers and The War on Marijuana. Learn more about how Medicaid Expansion can help decrease recidivism rates and increase access to treatment and how eliminating collateral consequences can help people get on their front after release from prison or jail on our Criminal Justice issue page.

Privatizing Democracy

Room: Executive

Session details

Advocates rely on the use of public record requests to push for policy changes and ensure that government officials are following the rules. Yet, private entities are increasingly filling roles that were once held by government agencies. How does this growing public/private partnership impact the transparency so important to government accountability?

Resources: Read the open meetings and public records guide for activists and learn more about open government.

Zero Tolerance Makes Zero Sense: Harsh School Discipline

Room: Legislative B; *CLE/CEU credits

Session details

In the last 20 years, schools have adopted harsh disciplinary techniques. Commonly referred to as zero-tolerance, these policies have resulted in the excessive and unnecessary rise in suspensions, expulsions, and arrests of children for minor rule infractions or age-appropriate behavior. This workshop will examine real life examples of zero-tolerance policies, how they disproportionately affect children with disabilities and children of color, and what you can do to fight back.

Resources: Learn more about the school-to-prison pipeline and how zero tolerance polices contribute to more kids leaving school and ending up in the juvenile justice system on our Juvenile Justice issue page.

Getting Sued for Speaking Out: Representing Activists Sued for Speech

Room: Judicial; *CLE credits

Session details

SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) lawsuits are filed in retaliation against individuals who speak out on public issues. They are commonly brought by corporations, developers, or government officials against activists. Though most SLAPPs ultimately fail when litigated fully, the threat of a time-consuming and expensive lawsuit often silences their targets. Learn more about SLAPP suits and what activists can do to keep from being silenced.

Resources: Access our online toolkit: SLAPPed: A Tool for Activists.

Session Four: 3:10 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Private Prisons, Public Problems

Room: Legislative A; *CEU credits

Session details

It’s been over two years since Ohio made history with the first ever state prison sold to a private company, and the results have been disastrous. Rampant drugs, rising assaults, disgusting conditions, and even deaths. Step inside the world of private prisons with those who work there, have loved ones who live there, and live in the prison’s community.

Resources: Stay up-to-date on what you can do to stop prison privitization.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind: The Solitary Confinement of Children

Room: Legislative B; *CLE/CEU credits

Session details

Imagine being locked up for over 22 hours a day in a room the size of a parking spot. This is life for thousands of children in jails and prisons across the country. But solitary confinement isn’t confined to incarcerated youth. This technique is also used in schools and other state departments in Ohio. Examine the implications of solitary confinement on Ohio’s children and discuss less harmful, more appropriate alternatives.

Resources: Disability Rights Ohio Seclusion Regulations & Advocacy.

Getting Equal: Protecting Employment and Housing for LGBT Ohioans

Room: Judicial; *CLE/CEU credits

Session details

Did you know that you can be fired in Ohio for being gay? Unfortunately, since Ohio has no state-wide protections for sexual orientation or gender identity, LGBT Ohioans can lose jobs and housing access because of who they are. Join us for a discussion about what’s going on in Ohio to stop this blatant workplace and housing discrimination.

Resources: The Intersection of LGBT Rights & Religion, Employment Discrimination in Ohio, and Remediating LGBT Employment Discrimination at the Federal Level. Stay up-to-date on ACLU of Ohio’s campaign to end workplace and housing discrimination in Ohio.