Ever wonder who’s behind the work here at the ACLU of Michigan? In our new blog series Five Questions, ACLU of Michigan staff will talk about the incredible day-to-day work defending civil liberties. For the next month, we'll be asking our fellows to speak about their experiences in the office...starting with me! 

My name is Sarah Goomar and I am a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, where I dual concentrated in Political Science and International Studies and minored in Women’s Studies.

I’m interested in work that allows me to combine my interests in human rights and the human narrative, and am incredibly excited to do so as a post-graduate fellow with the Communications Department of the ACLU of Michigan.

What brought you to the ACLU of Michigan?
If we’re being very specific, I have to thank my 11th grade American Studies teachers Mr. Bolos and Mr. O’Connor for their unit on the implications of war on our civil liberties. Since then, I’ve become increasingly interested in social justice work and have always looked to the ACLU as a safeguard for communities whose rights are being stripped of them.

What has been your most memorable moment here?
There was one day at the office that was particularly memorable for me; I worked up until my first writing deadline, sat in on a deposition for a freedom to religion case, and joined a media conference call on a freedom of speech lawsuit. I remember being thrilled about being in a place where the work was not only exciting, but also incredibly meaningful and impactful.

What social or civil liberties issue are you most personally drawn to?
I’m very interested in the ways in which legacies of oppression manifest in material terms today, and are rarely, if ever, undone. I’m also deeply concerned with the ways in which these histories are told and forgotten.

Who’s work at the office are you interested in learning more about at the moment?
I would love to pick everyone’s brains for sure. Lately I’ve found myself remembering and being brought back to the contributions our racial justice attorney, Mark Fancher, has been making at our staff meetings weeks after he’s made them. I think that’s a sure sign that I’d be very interested in sitting down to talk with him.

What are you plans for your career after your ACLU of Michigan experience?
I’d like to one day attend law school and embark on a career of social justice lawyering, which for a long time I was dubious was possible. But, the attorneys here seem to be doing a fine job at it.

By Sarah Goomar, ACLU of Michigan Fellow