Archived News | Return to News Center

September 10, 2012

ULM Communication presents “Knowing and Communicating Your Rights” Sept. 20

ULM’s Department of Communication will present “Knowing and Communicating Your Rights to Law Enforcement,” from 6-7:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 20, in Stubbs Hall, Room 100. The event is free and open to the public.

Shreveport City Court Judge Sheva M. Sims, and North Louisiana’s American Civil Liberties Union field organizer Deborah Allen, will discuss the importance of knowing one’s individual rights, protocols for communicating with law enforcement, and how ACLU cases impact the law.

A question and answer session will take place after the presentations.

“Students often have questions about their legal rights, as well as about what is appropriate when interacting with officers of the law,” said Dr. Lesli Pace, associate professor of Communication Studies.

“Having Judge Sims and Ms. Allen here will give the community an opportunity to better understand the complexities of the law and get answers to specific questions they may have.”

Sims will speak about how individual rights can be effectively communicated to law enforcement.

Sims graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Dillard University in 1989, and a Juris Doctorate Degree from Southern University Law Center in 1994.

She is a former high school mathematics teacher and Minister of Music for various churches throughout Louisiana.

Sims worked as an attorney for 17 years prior to her elected to the Shreveport City Court.

As an attorney, she handled civil and criminal litigation, small claims, and domestic cases.

Sims is also the past president of the board of directors for the YWCA of Northwest Louisiana, a member of the National Bar Association, and the Louisiana State Bar Association, where she served on the Community Action and Lawyers in Transition Committees.

Sims also serves on the Louisiana State Bar Association House of Delegates, State Bar Association, League of Women Voters, North Shreveport Business Association, Louisiana AIDS Advocacy Network, and Texas Avenue Community Association. 

Deborah Allen will discuss cases in which the ACLU has been involved, and how those cases influence understanding of the law.

Allen graduated from Louisiana Tech University in 1995 and is working on her Master’s Degree in Organizational Management. Allen comes to the ACLU of Louisiana after working in a community based HIV/AIDS resource center for nearly 15 years.

Her experience includes HIV/AIDS educator, advocate, case manager, HIV/AIDS policy/procedure author and grant writer.

As North Louisiana Field Organizer, Allen supports the advocacy work of the ACLU of Louisiana.

She represents the ACLU at public meetings and alerts the union concerning problematic policy proposals.

Allen builds relationships with community leaders and partner organizations, leads advocacy efforts to champion equality for all, and works to end criminal justice system abuses such as mass incarceration, racial profiling, lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender discrimination issues, and religious freedom.

For more information contact Dr. Lesli Pace at 318-342-1165 or

PLEASE NOTE: Some links and e-mail addresses in these archived news stories may no longer work, and some content may include events which are no longer relevent, or reference individuals and/or organizations no longer associated with ULM.