Berea Human Rights Commission Anniversary
On September 19th, several members of the Madison County Chapter joined with Bereans For Fairness and students from Berea College to mark the one year anniversary of Berea's Human Rights Commission. The students and community members gathered at Berea's City Council meeting to commemorate the occasion and to remind the council of the important work done by the HRC. Kate Grigg, the newly hired Eastern Kentucky regional fairness organizer, spoke to the council, praising them for creating the HRC a year ago. Grigg said of Berea "I am proud to be a part of a community that recognizes its human rights heritage and strives to be fair and inclusive to all people." Although the speakers recognized the council's role in recognizing human rights in Berea, they also noted the continuing absence of a Fairness Ordinance in Berea that would protect the city's LGBT residents from discrimination. Mae Suramek, former human rights investigator for Lexington's HRC spoke after Grigg, voicing her support for the adoption of a Fairness Ordinance in Berea: "I hope for a Berea where employers cannot fire you for who you love."
Students from the college's Harvey Milk Society accompanied the speakers, presenting the City Council with an anniversary card signed by KFTC and Bereans For Fairness members. The card also included comments from community members made last year following the formation of the HRC, all expressing the community's hopes for what the HRC would accomplish in the following year. Many of the written comments called for the adoption of protections for the LGBT Bereans, a call renewed by the students and community members gathered at the meeting on Tuesday.