The Fairness Campaign Wins the 2023 Community Behavioral Health Equity Award 

On September 14th, Seven Counties Services hosted its Annual Dinner, a time to gather and recognize our leadership, board of directors, community partners, donors, volunteers, and outstanding employees.

Along with celebrating individuals who have been part of Seven Counties Services for over 20 years, we also awarded four Community Behavior Health Awards to community partners who display our values of being compassionate, intentional, and resilient, as well as the Equity Award presented by Seven Counties Services’ Racial, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Task Force (REDI), along with our Pride Workgroup.

REDI is an employee resource group that focuses on a solutions-based approach to addressing systemic inequality and the disparities faced by Black and Brown communities in society. The REDI group has worked hard over the past three years of its formation to develop original education aids, internal reviews, organize celebrations, such as the Juneteenth festival that celebrates Black freedom and liberation, and advocate for equity within the organization.

Our Pride Workgroup is for all LGBTQIA2+ employees, as well as other individuals who actively support their rights. The Pride Workgroup was designed to advocate, educate, increase visibility, and to provide an environment of belonging for staff and for our clients.

The Community Behavioral Health Equity Award is presented to individuals or organizations that have made outstanding contributions to promoting equity, fairness, and inclusivity in the field of behavioral health. This award recognizes efforts to eliminate disparities and improve access to quality mental health and/or substance use services for all individuals, regardless of their background or social circumstances.

With great pleasure, we’re proud to announce the 2023 Equity Award was presented to The Fairness Campaign!

The Fairness Campaign is Kentucky’s LGBTQ advocacy organization founded in 1991 by 10 Louisvillians. Its primary goal is comprehensive civil rights legislation prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and to dismantle systemic racism.

With the help of the Fairness Campaign, 24 Kentucky communities and counting have enacted Fairness Ordinances outlawing LGBTQ discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Today, the Fairness Campaign works in cities across Kentucky to advance LGBTQ rights and acceptance through legislative advocacy and public education.

“The reason we’re getting this award this year is because we’ve had to fight so hard,” said Chris Hartman, the Executive Director of The Fairness Campaign, in his acceptance speech at the Annual Dinner. “I’ve been at The Fairness Campaign for nearly 15 years, and this was my 15th legislative session. Never before have I seen the level of attacks waged against our queer community but particularly against our arguably smallest and most vulnerable community, our trans kids who did nothing to deserve being played as political pawns in an incredibly dangerous game. I’m deeply honored this award is coming from Seven Counties Services because our mental health care community is critical to our queer kids who are suffering so badly right now.”

Chris closed out his speech by saying he’s focused on hope and the future ahead.

“I’ve seen more reasons to focus on hope in Frankfort this year than I’ve ever seen,” he said. “Thousands of LGBTQ+ and allied Kentuckians showed up in insurmountable odds. We were never going to win this year in the Capitol. But how we lost was important. We showed up. And we didn’t just make our voices heard. We literally shook the Capitol this year. I never heard chanting that reverberated so fiercely through the Capitol Annex Building. So I hope you’ll join us because we’re going to have to shake them next year, and we’re going to have to shake them until they fall down.”

Once again, congratulations to The Fairness Campaign for winning the 2023 Community Behavioral Health Equity Award!

We love being able to award and support our community partners! If you or your organization can benefit from a partnership with Seven Counties Services or vice versa, we would like to hear from you. Learn how to get involved. Together we ensure a better community for all!

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