ACLU of Michigan has new leadership of legal program

Dan Korobkin is the new legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and Bonsitu Kitaba is deputy legal director. Michael J. Steinberg, who has been legal director for 22 years, left  to teach full-time at the University of Michigan Law School.

Korobkin is a nationally recognized civil rights litigator and has served as the ACLU of Michigan’s deputy legal director for the past five years. His civil rights advocacy spans issues from criminal law reform to LGBT rights, to freedom of speech, and religion.

Korobkin has spearheaded the ACLU of Michigan’s fight to end the state’s practice of sentencing children to life in prison without the possibility of parole, challenged the unconstitutional “pay or stay” sentencing practices of local courts that created virtual debtor’s prisons, and earlier this year launched a class action lawsuit against Detroit’s 36th District Court for its unconstitutional bail practices.

 He is also recognized as a pioneer in protecting the rights of medical marijuana patients. He represents a class of schoolchildren seeking special education services in the wake of the Flint Water Crisis, and is part of the legal team representing Aimee Stephens, a transgender woman whose employment discrimination case will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court this month.

Korobkin has a law degree from Yale Law School and a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College. He has worked for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia.

Kitaba has been a staff attorney at the ACLU?of Michigan for the past three years. Her work includes fighting for clean water in Flint, ending illegal tax foreclosures in Detroit, and stopping deportations of Iraqi nationals who face persecution, torture, or death if forcibly returned to Iraq.

She has also long been active in Ethiopia’s Oromo community, serving non-profits committed to ensuring an independent media and promoting employment and education opportunities for teens and immigrants in the region.

Kitaba holds law degree from Wayne State University Law School and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto.

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