Commission on Human Rights
Kentucky Hispanics networked with government officials today at outreach summit
LOUISVILLE – The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights held its fifth annual Kentucky Hispanic and Immigrant Networking Summit today on Friday, October 9, at the UK Cooperative Extension in Shelbyville, Ky.
The Networking Summit kicked off a statewide celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15). The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights has organized for five years this unique event to foster mutual understanding and increased communication and collaboration between the federal, state and local governments and Kentucky’s immigrant communities.
Executive Director John J. Johnson was one of the speakers at the event. “News reports reveal that national, state and local immigration policies are causing a disturbing pattern of abuses that threaten the livelihood and safety of entire families in their communities,” he told the 120 attendees at the summit.
“Kentuckians who believe in equality should join forces to ensure that civil rights and constitutional protections are not trampled upon by those who would violate others’ human rights simply because of people's national origins,” he said.
“The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights uses events like the summit to expose and end discriminatory barriers that prevent the full participation of Hispanic and all foreign born Kentuckians in the building of our state’s bright future,.” Johnson said.
During the summit, partner government institutions networked with Hispanic educators and entrepreneurs, directors of Kentucky Latino centers and refugee agencies, and members of the Hispanic media from across the commonwealth.
Speakers emphasized the current needs and potential of the growing immigrant population. In addition to the day’s panel discussions, attending government agencies met with the many immigrant community contacts built the last eight years through intensive outreach efforts by the state human rights commission.
The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights is the state government agency that enforces The Kentucky Civil Rights Act and federal civil rights laws. These laws protect people from discrimination based on the protected classes of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, familial status, and tobacco smoking status. The protections apply with varying requirements to the areas of employment, public accommodations, housing, financial transactions, and private clubs.