This is one in a series of profiles marking the 60th anniversary of the ACLU of Kentucky’s founding. Each week through December 2015 we will highlight the story of one member, client, case, board or staff member that has been an integral part of our organization’s rich history.
“Do not be discouraged; things change over time. And at the same time you’re not being discouraged, you continue to work daily and not worry about whether you’re doing big things. Small things add up.” -Peg Pittman-Munke
Peg Pittman-Munke was living in Mayfield in 2010 when a group of local Muslims ran up against opposition from city officials in their efforts to build a mosque. The ACLU of Kentucky’s work to help the group secure their worship space inspired Pittman-Munke to renew her membership and become more active with the ACLU-KY, eventually joining the board of directors.
As the director of the Social Work program at Murray State University, Pittman-Munke has found several ways to connect her students to ACLU-KY education programs. Her students have hosted programs around the state to learn more about immigrants’ rights work and reproductive rights battles. Her students have also hosted talks with death row exonerees who share their stories of wrongful conviction and innocence. Pittman-Munke believes her students’ efforts have helped make for a more educated, less biased community. “If people know more, hear more, if they understand more, they are less likely to take what certain media outlets feed them as gospel. A great deal of changing people’s minds and hearts simply involves letting them hear the overall,” Pittman-Munke said. She continued, “It seems to me that when people are vulnerable and people are not getting their rights, people who are able to understand that people have a right to certain things need to get involved. And it doesn’t really matter if it is for our issue or not. If there is a problem for one person, there is a potential for there to be a problem for every one of us. So it is kind of self-interest.”