ACLU Executive Director announces resignation, effective immediately

ACLU Executive Director announces resignation, effective immediately
Executive Director Jennifer Riley Collins; Source: ACLU Website

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - In a joint press statement released on Friday, Board Chair Cassandra Welchlin and Executive Director Jennifer Riley Collins announced Collins’ departure from the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi, effective June 28, 2019.

Welchlin stated that Riley has played a critical role in the development and success of the organization and they’ll miss her and her inspiring leadership.

The Board thanked Riley her for six years of tireless hours, dedicated service, and visionary leadership which has resulted in many significant accomplishments, including: Resetting, rebuilding and rebranding the ACLU of MS such that our capacity for impact increased exponentially and growing membership from roughly 700 to almost three thousand, among other things.

The release also stated that as a lead lobbyists and policy strategist, Riley has drafted and proposed legislation and ensured that legislation and policy are implemented so that the rights and freedoms of Mississippians are protected.

Collins released the following statement regarding her departure:

When I came back to Mississippi after military duty one thing was clear to me – “there was work yet to be done”. I have been honored to do a part of that work as the Executive Director of the ACLU of MS. However, I still think there is more work for me to do. Therefore, after earnest and prayerful consideration, I recently submitted my resignation to the Board in order to focus solely on doing that work. While I have a mix of emotions as I move into this next chapter of my career, I am confident that I have done what I was meant to do at the ACLU of MS and believe that I have built upon the foundation that the board and my predecessor laid. The decision for my transition did not come easily as I am extremely proud and fond of all that ACLU of MS staff, board and members have accomplished during the past six years and hold dear to my heart the relationships I’ve built during my time as Executive Director. With a grateful heart, I offer my sincerest thanks to all who have been so supportive of the organization and of me personally over the years: staff, board members, and, of course, our partners and ACLU of MS members. Without you, the organization would not be as strong, relevant and impactful as it is. I am so honored to have been the leader and co-conspirator for positive change in Mississippi. I will watch with much excitement and anticipation as it continues to promote, defend and extend civil liberties to all Mississippians.

Over the next few months, the ACLU will be conducting a search to find a new executive director. The job announcement will be shared soon.

Joshua Tom will assume the position of Interim Executive Director and Tabuthia Bell has been named the Interim Assistant Director.

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