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HRC hires Ark. director to promote LGBT equality in three southern states

Monday, July 28, 2014
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A Little Rock native who has worked for several nonprofits will be the first Arkansas director for the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights group.

Kendra Johnson

Kendra Johnson

The Washington-based Human Rights Campaign announced Monday it had hired Kendra Johnson as its state director as part of its Project One America campaign to promote LGBT equality in three southern states.

Johnson was born and raised in Little Rock and has worked at several nonprofits, including Better Community Development and the Women’s Project.

She has an undergraduate degree from Spelman College and a graduate degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Johnson’s hiring was announced as court fights are underway at the federal and state level over Arkansas’ ban on same-sex marriage.

In connection with the announcement, the HRC released results of its survey into the needs, experiences, and priorities of LGBT Arkansans.

According to the survey, 25 percent of all respondents have experienced employment discrimination and 37 percent have experienced harassment at work; 39 percent have experienced harassment by members of their own family; and 45 percent reported experiencing harassment at school.

HRC’s “Project One America” is a three-year, $8.5 million campaign to promote LGBT equality and push for new legal protections in Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi, three Southern states dominated by conservative politics and religion.

HRC President Chad Griffin is an Arkansas native.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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