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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Sept. 16, 2015

Missouri ACLU director to present Constitution Day program

The Northwest Missouri State University Department of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Northwest Pre-Law Society will present their annual Constitution Day program Thursday, Sept. 17, featuring Sarah Rossi, the director of advocacy and policy for American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri.

The presentation, which is free and open to the public, begins at 5 p.m. in Room 2550 of the Garrett-Strong Science Building. Rossi will discuss how to navigate encounters with law enforcement and the case of same-sex marriage.

Rossi joined the ACLU of Missouri last year and is responsible for advancing the organization’s policy agenda by planning and implementing legislative and advocacy campaigns, analyzing and drafting policy proposals, lobbying state and local policymakers, preparing and presenting testimony, building coalitions and engaging ACLU supporters.

Prior to joining the ACLU of Missouri, she served as the legal and public policy director for the Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (MCADSV) for three years. In that capacity, she participated in multiple state-wide coalitions in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality, women’s rights and immigrants’ rights. She planned and facilitated community-based meetings; lobbied at the federal, state, and local levels; and trained multiple organizations on the complexities of constitutional-level issues. She helped usher in the passage of local LGBT non-discrimination ordinances, the removal of Montana’s anti-sodomy law, the inclusion of LGBT couples in Montana’s domestic violence statute and the pushing back of countless anti-choice measures.

From 2010 to 2014, Rossi also provided pro-bono family law services to LGBT individuals in Missoula, Helena and Bozeman, Mont. As a member of the Peace Corps from 2005 to 2007, she worked as a community health and development educator in Gambia, West Africa, where she co-founded the Gambia LGBT group and designed and implemented a community-based radio program promoting women’s empowerment, girl’s education and sexual health.

Rossi earned her juris doctorate from the University of Montana School of Law where she received the Burton K. Wheeler Award for personal integrity, courage and independent thought. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Colorado in Denver.

Constitution Day is observed annually Sept. 17. The day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution by the delegates to the Constitutional Convention Sept. 17, 1787.

For more information about Northwest's Constitution Day program contact Daniel Smith, a Northwest assistant professor of political science, at 660.562.1293 or  

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468