The passing of HB 1523, also known as the “Religious Liberty Accommodations Act,” seemed to be the nail in the coffin for many people, corporations and states and their allegiance to the state of Mississippi. What does this mean? It means people are done with this state.
I have seen countless posts over the years about people wanting to get out of Mississippi and never come back after college. With Mississippi being a state leading in negative categories like obesity, teen pregnancy, failing schools and poverty, I can’t say I blame them.
However, I CHOSE to come live in Mississippi. I have never once regretted this decision.
In Mississippi, I have discovered my passion for diversity, ethics and social justice. In Mississippi, I have had unique opportunities to pursue this passion. And, in Mississippi, I have met some of the strongest, most compassionate people who continue to inspire me each and every day.
So, I have Mississippi to thank for who I am today.
But, that’s not all.
For social justice work, there is no better place to be than Mississippi. Here is where we can impact the most. Here is where support is needed the most.
It may be an uphill battle, but it’s a necessary battle to help Mississippi shake the first place titles in the worst categories.
From conflicts over race, religion, heritage, sexual orientation, etc., there is a lot of hate in Mississippi.
And, there is a lot of love in Mississippi. So when deplorable legislation like HB 1523 is passed, it is amazing to see people take to the Internet or to the streets to voice their discontent over the bill and stand up for equality.
Overall, many people are quick to criticize; far fewer are willing to act.
So, before you condemn Mississippi, consider helping it. Calling it “backwards,” isn’t going to help bring us forward.
Yes, Mississippi has a lot of problems. But, I plan to be part of the solution.
You can read HB 1523 in full here.
If you are interested in supporting equality in Mississippi, check out these incredible organizations: The William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation, ReThink Mississippi, HRC Mississippi, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.