Hugging the shore of the St. John River, just a short Tom Brady pass away from Canada, the beautiful little community of Madawaska proudly proclaims itself as the most northeastern town in the United States and one of America’s “four corners.”
Perched at the very top of our state, it is not a short drive from our ACLU office in Portland. Still, despite representing the most expansive state in New England, we have kept our focus on visiting all corners of Maine to converse with people young and old about their civil liberties.
Yesterday I spoke with students at Madawaska High School, teaching them about their rights with police and their rights at school. As I walked out of the building and looked over the skyline, I couldn’t help but smile as I gazed across our national border onto the riverside homes of Edmundston.
This is the second school visit on my weeklong trip through Aroostook County and it is a poignant reminder of just how big and diverse our state is. Reaching every corner we can means a lot to us, but it requires a lot of time and resources. If you’re an ACLU member, you should be proud that your support helps make trips like this possible.
After speaking at Madawaska, I continued today with a drive back down Route 1, with stops at Limestone and Fort Fairfield to lead a pair of workshops with high school students there. Tomorrow I’ll make my way back to Portland, with another school visit along the way, and Monday morning we’ll be right back at it on the whole other side of the state with a visit to York High School, just 10 minutes from Maine’s southern border. Next month we’ll be at Sacopee Valley, just 7 miles from our western border with New Hampshire.
Our commitment to reaching all corners of the state isn’t only for students, though. Just last month our criminal justice organizer, Grainne Dunne, traveled all the way to Lubec – the easternmost town in Maine – to speak with local leaders in Washington County about their criminal justice legislative priorities.
In the coming months we’ll continue traveling the state to reach students at rural schools and talk with community members from towns both big and small. We have a beautiful state with an amazing diversity of people and it’s quite the privilege for us to discuss civil liberties and connect with folks from Madawaska to York to Lubec and everywhere in between.