Sununu announces formation of new Civil Rights Unit at NH Department of Justice

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Watch the Facebook live recording of the signing (above).

CONCORD, NH – Gov. Chris Sununu joined Attorney General Gordon MacDonald on Dec. 14 to announce the signing of an executive order establishing the Governor’s Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion, and the formation of a new Civil Rights Unit at the New Hampshire Department of  Justice. New Hampshire NAACP State Coordinator Rogers Johnson, community leaders and State Government officials joined Governor Sununu and Attorney General MacDonald at today’s announcement.

“Today is an incredibly important day for New Hampshire,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “If we really want to be the Live Free or Die State, we must ensure that New Hampshire is a place where every person, regardless of their background, has an equal and full opportunity to pursue their dreams and to make a better life for themselves and their families. I am proud to join Attorney General MacDonald to bring together leaders from across the State to engage in these efforts, and to establish the first Civil Rights Unit in the history of the New Hampshire Department of Justice. The actions we are taking today will keep New Hampshire on the forefront of efforts to combat discrimination and promote diversity and inclusion. As Governor, I am committed to ensuring that everyone is welcome and valued in the Granite State.”

The new Advisory Council will work collaboratively with the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights and any other relevant State entities to review state laws, regulations and policies and recommend changes to further combat discrimination and promote diversity and inclusion.  The Council will also recommend ways in which the State can support local and community efforts and partner with non-governmental organizations to advance diversity and inclusion.  Governor Sununu announced that Rogers Johnson, the State Coordinator of the New Hampshire NAACP, has agreed to chair the Council.

“The course we are about to undertake is nothing short of historic, and I am humbled that I was asked to be a part of it,” said Rogers Johnson.

Attorney General Gordon MacDonald offered his thoughts on today’s announcements and the new Civil Rights Unit.

“The creation of the Civil Rights Unit reinforces and advances the fundamental mission of the New Hampshire Department of Justice to enforce our laws, protect our residents and visitors, and provide training, resources and support to state and local officials,” said Attorney General MacDonald.  “I thank Governor Sununu for his strong support of this initiative.  I am delighted that Assistant Attorney General Elizabeth Lahey has agreed to be the first leader of the Civil Rights Unit.  She brings to this new position not only exceptional skills as a lawyer but also a deep commitment to equality and justice.”

“This is an important next step in the efforts to address and promote cultural competence, and the identification and elimination of the effects of biases in our society through enforcement, outreach, and education.  It is my distinct honor to be a part of it,” said Assistant Attorney General Elizabeth Lahey.

Read the executive order below:

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Office of Gov. Chris Sununu