The ACLU of Hawaii is pleased to announce Mandy Fernandes as its new Policy Director. This position is part of the ACLU’s effort to bolster the cause of civil rights in Hawaii by increasing its capacity and reach throughout the state.
Ms. Fernandes comes to the ACLU of Hawaii from the Hawaii Children’s Action Network (HCAN), a nonprofit that addresses the root causes of poverty and inequity and develops policies that help children and families. At HCAN, Mandy worked with other social justice groups fighting for policies like paid family leave and universal access to preschool. Mandy serves on the boards of the Hawaii LGBT Legal Association, and PHOCUSED, and graduated from the Georgetown University Law Center. Mandy previously served as the ACLU of Hawaii’s advocacy coordinator, working on privacy & technology, criminal law reform, police transparency, LGBT rights, civil asset forfeiture reform, and to stop the criminalization of homelessness.
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“I am honored and excited to return to the organization that has defended our constitutional freedoms here in Hawaii for over fifty years,” said Ms. Fernandes. “I went to law school because I was inspired by lawyers like Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the late Congresswoman Patsy T. Mink, who devoted their careers to defending the rights guaranteed to us by the U.S. Constitution, and who fought tirelessly to tear down barriers to women’s full and equal enjoyment of those rights. Together with the ACLU of Hawaii team, and our amazing supporters, we’ll advocate to protect and expand civil rights for everyone.”
ACLU of Hawaii Executive Director Joshua Wisch added: “The defense and promotion of civil rights in a state like ours demands a vigilant presence in the legislature and the county councils and it requires activating people on every island to get involved. I know that Mandy – with her passion for this work and expertise in moving a policy agenda directly and at the grassroots – will be a difference maker for the ACLU of Hawai’i. We’re excited that she is rejoining our team.”