Comedians W. Kamau Bell and Lewis Black were named ambassadors for the American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday, according to a press release. They’re representing the ACLU Ambassador Project, which was also launched on Tuesday. The release describes the project as a “new initiative that joins personalities from the worlds of film, television, music and comedy with ACLU priority issues.” The aim is to spotlight ACLU issues through high-profile relationships with artists who will educate and advocate for change.
Bell, a stand-up comedian who takes on socio-political issues and hosts the FXX series Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell, will focus on racial justice, while Black, who holds two Grammys under his belt for his acerbic comedy, will tackle voting rights.
“I am extremely proud to join with the ACLU and their groundbreaking work to create a more just and less racist society,” Bell said, according to the press release. “And I am even more proud that the ACLU recognizes that even though I tell jokes about ending racism, I ain’t kidding.”
“I have disagreed from time to time with the ACLU, but I have been a longtime supporter of them and look forward to working with them to help protect and expand the right to vote,” Black said in the statement. “There are new voter-suppression laws popping up all over the country. They aren’t designed to get more people to vote. They are designed to make sure less people vote. Really? That’s not democratic. It’s downright stupid.”
Other ambassadors include Harry Belafonte, Melissa Etheridge, Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Cyndi Lauper.