Amber Duke is a mother and trusted civil rights leader. Inspired by true American hero John Lewis at a young age, Amber has spent her entire professional career finding ways to get into “good trouble,” by shining a light on systemic inequalities that disproportionality impact Black and other marginalized people.
Amber has been with the ACLU of Kentucky for nearly 10 years serving as a key leader in the organization’s growth and visibility. During her tenure, she has worked as the organization’s first Communications Director, first Deputy Director, and is the first Black woman to lead the ACLU of Kentucky in its 67-year history in her current role as Interim Executive Director. In each of these positions, she has worked to bring ACLU values to life through clear communication, transparent decision-making, and partnership with community stakeholders.
Within a week of assuming the Interim Executive Director role, Amber spearheaded the creation of Community Stakeholders to End Deaths at LMDC, a coalition campaign to address the ongoing jail death crisis among incarcerated people at Louisville Metro Department of Corrections. She is currently directing the ACLU of Kentucky’s work within the Protect Kentucky Access coalition to defeat anti-abortion Amendment 2.
Recognizing the need to operationalize equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging (EDIB) inside the ACLU of Kentucky, Amber launched a new employee handbook and EDIB Vendor Survey. She also serves as Healthy at Work Officer, researching and authoring the organization’s COVID-19 safety procedures and protocols.
Prior to joining the ACLU of Kentucky in 2012, Amber worked as program director for the University of Louisville’s Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research and as a news producer at WLKY-TV. She earned a Master of Arts from the University of Louisville’s Pan African Studies Department, where she focused on the history of Black, female journalists. She also earned a Graduate Certificate in Public History from the University of Louisville’s History Department. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies from New York University.
Amber is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions for her work including inclusion in the inaugural class of the Kentucky Gazette’s Notable Women in Kentucky Politics in 2019. She serves on the board of directors for the Louisville Story Program and is a founding member of Impact 100 Southern Indiana.