CONCORD — The American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire (ACLU-NH) applauds Governor Chris Sununu’s decision today to establish an Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion and Attorney General Gordon MacDonald’s creation of the Civil Rights Unit within the NH Department of Justice.   The ACLU-NH is committed to protecting all Granite Staters’ civil rights and looks forward to working as a member of the Advisory Council and with the Civil Rights Unit. 

Below is a statement from Devon Chaffee, Executive Director of the ACLU-NH:

“We applaud the Governor’s leadership and recognition that there is more we must do to protect civil rights, promote equality and inclusivity, and ensure that the Granite State is welcoming to all.  The establishment of this Advisory Council is an important first step in addressing the real civil rights challenges confronting our state.

“New Hampshire is not immune to the racial tensions, bias, discrimination, and injustices seen nationally.  From the recent incidents of racial bias on the campus of the University of New Hampshire, the increase in hate crimes in 2016 as reported by the FBI, the racial disparities in our criminal justice system, to the racial disparities that exist in school discipline, we have much work to do in combating discrimination and protecting our civil rights in the Granite State.  We look forward to working within the Advisory Council to promote civil rights and equity in all these areas.

“As New Hampshire becomes more diverse, we must deepen our commitment to ensure everyone in New Hampshire—including people of color, immigrants, and members of the LGBTQ community — is welcomed, valued, and safe in our communities.  Now, more than ever, it is critical that we take concrete steps to promote diversity and ensure everyone’s civil rights are protected.

“Our civil rights laws mean little if we do not commit the resources to uphold and enforce them. For this reason, we commend the Governor for committing resources to this Advisory Council and the Attorney General for establishing a Civil Rights Unit in the NH Department of Justice.  We look forward to working with the Governor, the Attorney General, and other members of the Advisory Council to make the Granite State a true champion of civil rights, equity, and diversity.”