The ACLU of Maryland was founded in 1931 in response to lynching on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The organization’s first case was on behalf of a Black man named Orphan Jones who was charged with murder, denied counsel, and threatened with lynching.

Today, we are the nation’s premier guardian of liberty. We exist to empower Marylanders to exercise their rights so that the law values and uplifts their humanity.

We work daily to defend and preserve the individual rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and the laws of the United States. We work to ensure that all people in the state of Maryland are free to think and speak as they choose, and to live their lives free from discrimination and unwarranted government intrusion.

Our vision is that Maryland’s people are united in affirming and exercising their rights in order to address inequities and fulfill the country’s unrealized promise of justice and freedom for all.

Thanks for joining us in this important work,

Dana Vickers Shelley
Executive Director
ACLU of Maryland

John Alvin Henderson
President, Board of Directors
ACLU of Maryland