June 14, 2010
For Immediate Release
The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights presented the “Unbridled Spirit for Justice Award” to two area leaders at its most recent Listening Tour. Recipients were John Chowning, Campbellsville University vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president; and Wanda Washington, director of the community action group, Greater Campbellsville United. Pictured above are, from left: Chowning; Cynthia B. Fox, KCHR executive staff advisor; Washington; and Juan Pena, KCHR field supervisor. Chowning is chair and founder of Greater Campbellsville United. (Campbellsville University Photo by Linda Waggener)
By Linda Waggener, marketing and media relations coordinator
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – As part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights (KCHR), a Listening Tour, along with an awards presentation, was held for the public at Campbellsville University last week.
The “Unbridled Spirit for Justice Award” was presented to two area leaders: John Chowning, Campbellsville University vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president, who is chair of Greater Campbellsville United, a community action group and who is also the group’s founder; and Wanda Washington, coordinator of Greater Campbellsville United (GCU).
Cynthia B. Fox, executive staff advisor of KCHR, said, “We applaud you for the work you do and the strong support you give to the KCHR. I salute you because you talk about it and that’s the biggest step in the right direction. The worst places in the state are where they just don’t talk about, nor encourage talking about, discrimination.”
Campbellsville University has one of the most diverse campuses in the state and has targeted scholarships to minority culture. Many events are held throughout each year on campus to support the dedication to diversity. As an example, on July 13, GCU is hosting educational enrichment for minority students.
In accepting the award, Chowning said, “I would point out the work of my colleagues here at Campbellsville University as well as those with Greater Campbellsville United whose work has made it possible for us to provide equity, opportunity, and empowerment for all, both on CU’s campus and in the community.”
Chowning said, “Campbellsville University is pleased to have this opportunity in partnership with Greater Campbellsville United. It is because of GCU that Taylor County has a week-long cultural celebration each year and why ‘Dialogue on Race’ has been a part of CU for over 12 years. CU and the local community have a legacy of commitment to equal opportunity and empowerment for all people.”
Juan Pena, field supervisor for the KCHR, said, “We believe that Campbellsville and Taylor County have a lot to share with other counties and cities across the state to promote diversity and inclusion. We believe that your many civil rights and diversity programs, at Campbellsville University and in the community, accomplish the goals that the Commission advocates.”
KCHR Listening Tours are held across the state to provide an opportunity for Kentuckians to learn about the work of the agency and share information to ensure that every person living, working or visiting the state has equal access to housing, employment, public accommodations and financial transactions.
Fox said, “The two areas of most complaints received are on the subjects of (1) employment discrimination and (2) public access accommodation, especially about accessibility.”
She said while it is free and open to anyone to file a complaint, the KCHR does not defend issues of unfairness, only issues where the law has been broken. They take cases as defined in the Kentucky Civil Rights Act.
Special events are being scheduled for the fall in celebration of KCHR’s 50th year “as a protector of civil rights.” Topics to be covered will include: hate activity, diversity education, age issues and basic civil and human rights issues.
Campbellsville University is an award-winning Kentucky Christian university with over 3,000 students offering 44 undergraduate programs, 16 master’s degrees and four post graduate areas. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.