Amol Sinha, an attorney who has been an advocate for people wrongfully convicted has been chosen as the new executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey. Amol Sinha, who grew up in New Jersey, will be the first person of color to lead the organization. He said his initial plans call for setting up meetings throughout the state to listen to the needs of residents, organizations and community groups. He wants them to know that the ACLU-NJ will be there to collaborate with them to make the state better.
“We should be out in communities and letting people know that we are here for them, and I’m certain there are folks that either have a misunderstanding of what we do, or don’t understand it, or aren’t aware of us at all and I want to fix that,” he told the media.
Sinha was director of the New York Civil Liberties Union’s Suffolk County chapter and recently led state advocacy campaigns to address wrongful convictions nationwide at the Innocence Project. The son of Indian immigrants, Sinha grew up in Lawrenceville. In a statement, Sinha says the issues South Asian communities face are “emblematic of civil rights issues.”
In his first 100 days on the job, Sinha plans to primarily listen.
“In the first few months, my plan is to travel across the state, listen to the needs of people here, meet with as many organizations, community groups, and people as possible, and make the ACLU completely accessible,” Sinha said. “I want people across the state to know that we’re here as a partner, to collaborate together to make New Jersey better and more welcoming than it already is.”
For Sinha, taking the helm is a homecoming, not just to his home state, but to an organization that has always anchored him. Sinha’s first role as a new lawyer – after interning for the national ACLU while a student at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law – was as director of the Suffolk County Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union. He said the job posting had an unforgettably fluid yet empowering description: “Be the face of the NYCLU.”