ACLU Wins National Public Relations Award for Campaign to End Racial Profiling

June 9, 2000 12:00 am

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NEW YORK — The American Civil Liberties Union took home top honors last night at a national awards ceremony, in recognition of its public relations campaign on the issue of racial profiling in law enforcement, also known as “DWB” — “Driving While Black or Brown.”

The Silver Anvil Award of Excellence for Public Affairs, presented to the ACLU by the Public Relations Society of America, is awarded annually to communications campaigns that meet the highest standards of four components of public relations programming — research, planning, execution and evaluation.

This year’s 79 finalists, including the AOL Foundation, DeBeers, Eastman Kodak Company, Intel Corporation, PaineWebber Inc., and the Office of National Drug Control Policy were chosen from 657 national entries. This is the first time the ACLU has received a national award for its public relations efforts.

“The ACLU is proud to be recognized for our work to end racial profiling,” said Loren Siegel, the ACLU’s Director of Public Education who accepted the award on behalf of the organization. “We are even more gratified that our public education campaign has helped bring to light — and will help bring an end to — this racially discriminatory and unconstitutional law enforcement practice.”

“DWB,” the illegal police practice of stopping and harassing African American motorists, was largely unknown outside minority communities until the ACLU launched its intensive public education and media campaign in 1999. Elements of the ongoing campaign include an “Arrest the Racism” web site feature, a toll-free telephone hotline, survival kits for motorists, a special report, nationwide news conferences, and an advertising drive.

The ACLU’s Campaign Against Racial Profiling, as it is known, complements the organization’s litigation and legislative advocacy to end “DWB.” It is the ACLU’s hope that an educated and aware American public will help to eradicate racial profiling.

Last year, the ACLU received PRSA’s 1999 New York Big Apple Award for Public Affairs for its media relations work on a women’s rights case arising out of Kentucky.

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