Post submitted by Angela Cottrell, HRC Board of Governor for Kansas City.
Yesterday, the Kansas City HRC Steering Committee hosted its inaugural HRC Equality Brunch. Over 150 participants were in attendance, including county legislators, state representatives, Kansas City Frontrunners, IAFF members, openly gay Benedictine College basketball player Jallen Messersmith, and former steering committee leadership.
The event provided a tremendous opportunity for our committee to branch out beyond the events we do on a year-to-year basis and broaden our scope for new membership. It was also important to celebrate the recent Supreme Court successes and to share what direction HRC is going as we progress forward.
Guest speakers included Kansas City Mayor Sly James and Missouri State Senator Jolie Justus. James discussed the need to have more LGBT appointees on local committees and also praised HRC for continuing to ask great questions and increase our Municipal Equality Index score. Justus presented information on the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (MONA) and the potential we have to join the other 21 states plus D.C. that have laws prohibiting discrimination based upon sexual orientation.
Federal Club Co-Chair Drew Smith was able to share how he is now able to marry CJ after going through his transition and was considered "lucky" by some of his friends who still cannot marry.
"Luck and equality do not belong in the same sentence," said Smith, who instead emphasized the hard work that helped him to get to where he is today and the work that still lies ahead in order to achieve equality across the country.
Overall, the Equality Brunch was a resounding success with participants already talking about growing the event for next year. To find a HRC Steering Committee near you visit HRC's local page.
Guest speaker Missouri State Senator Jolie Justus at Kansas City HRC Steering Committee event
Kansas City Mayor Sly James at Kansas City HRC Steering Committee event
Jallen Messersmith, an openly gay basketball player at Benedictine College