Human Rights Commission Turns 40

By: Ryan Dearbone
By: Ryan Dearbone

"Human Rights Commissions were brought in back in the 60's during the civil rights era. They were put in place really to make sure that was fair treatment and equal opportunity for all people," said Bowling Green Human Rights Commission Executive Director, Linda McCray.

Bowling Green opened it's own chapter of the agency in 1966 as part of a city ordinance.

Since then, the office, which consists of only two employees has been pounding the grindstone to get the word out on issues of racial discrimination and fair housing.

McCray said last year alone 105 cases of discrimination were reported to their office.

"Many of the complaints that were received 40 years ago, which were primarily racial discrimination and unemployment are still, after 40 years, the most common complaints that we receive."

McCray also said this milestone for the Human Rights Commission is also a milestone for the community from which it came out of.

"I think its a huge achievement for a small agency like this, who I don't think we had offices until the 1970's. We didn't even have employees until 1976. Here we are in 2006."

To help commemorate Human Rights week, the Commission held an open house on Oct 23 and 24, 2006.

On Oct. 26, 2006, a reception will be held at Fort Webb, which will include photos from four decades of the Commission.

The celebration will conclude with a service of unity and remembrance Sunday morning, Oct. 29, 2006, at State Street Baptist Church.

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