Witold "Vic" Walczak will be the next guest of the monthly forum "Tony Norman vs." on Thursday, June 30 at 7p.m.
The discussion will be held at the Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community at the corner of 27
th and Jane streets in the South Side.
The son of a Polish Holocaust survivor, Mr. Walczak came to the United States at age three. Before attending law school he traveled to martial-law Poland, where he experienced the deprivation of civil liberties, including police brutality, wiretapping and a strip search.
Since 2004, he has served as legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, where he specializes in free-speech and religious liberty cases. In 2008, the ACLU of Pennsylvania filed on behalf of the Just for Jesus Challenge Homeless Outreach to defend their right to house and serve homeless people.
In 2005, Mr. Walczak was one of three lawyers who successfully tried Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, the first case challenging the teaching in public schools of "intelligent design" (ID), which the ACLU claimed was creationism repackaged.
More recently, he was co-lead counsel in a case challenging an anti-illegal-immigrant ordinance in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, the first of its kind in the nation.
Before his time as legal director, Mr. Walczak spent 12 years as executive director of the Pittsburgh chapter of the ACLU and was vocal about his criticism of the city's handling of protestors and public gatherings during the G-20 summit here in 2009.
"Tony Norman vs." is a monthly forum discussion in which Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Tony Norman engages with various leaders and thinkers in the community on topics important to the city of Pittsburgh.
The Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community is at the corner of 27
th and Jane Streets in South Side, parking is available on-site. The church can be reached at 412-481-4010, via email to hotmetal@hot metalbridge.com, or on the web at www.hotmetalbridge.com. Hot Metal is a union church between the United Methodist Church and Presbyterian Church (USA) denominations.