Joan Aldous lived her life building a better world around her. Upon her passing, the ACLU of Indiana was informed that she had left a sizable gift to us in her estate—the single largest gift in our 62-year history. We are both honored and grateful for Joan's belief in our organization and our mission, and we are thankful for donors who share our passion and commitment to justice and equality. Their investment in our mission provides us with the long-term resources needed to guard and expand everyone's civil liberties.
Joan Aldous was a leader. In her community, in the sociology fields of Family and Gender Studies, and at the University of Notre Dame, Joan never shied from standing up for her beliefs, and for her vision of a free and equal society. Early in her career, when masculine pronouns were often used to cover all genders, Joan replaced every "he" with "she" and "his" with "hers." Faced with a department head angered at this "stunt," she didn't back down.
In 1970, when Larry Reuben first started "hanging out at the ICLU," he was a law student at Indiana University. In 1972, Larry graduated and set up practice not far from the Thomas Building on East Washington Street in Indianapolis, where the Indiana Civil Liberties Union, as it was then known, was located.
Around once a month, Larry would walk over to the Thomas Building during lunch and gather with other attorneys who would discuss the merits of cases and which attorneys would litigate them. The Screening Committee, as this group was referred to for several decades, worked hand-in-hand with Legal Services: "It's kind of hard to separate the ICLU gang from the LSO gang," said Larry. "Not only were we in the same building, but we had the same mindset—to right the wrongs in our community and to help people who were not able to help themselves."