Nine years ago, a group of dedicated civil and human rights advocates came together to host a signature event in western Kentucky. This event became known as Celebrate & Support a Fair Kentucky for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT), as well as ally, people.

Jody Cofer RandallSupport of inclusive public policies for LGBT people across the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the United States continue to grow rapidly. There are numerous data silos to support what those of us laboring for the cause already know. That said… much work remains to align public policies with modern-day thinking – a process that is often slow and very incremental. We live in an increasingly diverse society and while we have made great gains in recent times, tomorrow’s generation will be even better on these issues.

Artisan Kitchen of Paducah has supported the event for several years and will continue to provide catering this year. Top Shelf Bar to Go has been with the event since the beginning in serving up a variety of tasty beverages and a team of volunteers organize a silent auction filled with a wide-variety of items.

We have two outstanding LGBT alumni of Murray State University joining us at the event this year to offer brief remarks and mingle with attendees. We have Kristie Helms, `93, Vice President, Promotional Strategist and Global Head of Social Business at State Street. We also have Viktor Kerney, `98 and `01, Director of Outreach at Bent-Con.

The event location moves around utilizing the generosity of supporters and will be hosted on beautiful Lake Barkley this year at the home of Dr. John and Sally Mateja.

The signature benefactor is Murray State University’s (MSU) LGBT Programming.

MSU’s LGBT Programming provides support for the LGBT and ally student community through services and educational programming. This support fosters a stronger campus environment that is open and inclusive for all people in support of Murray State’s mission to prepare our graduates to succeed in a diverse and interdependent world.

In addition to this year’s event, there will be an Alumni Roundtable Luncheon to coincide with this year’s Celerbate! As we honor our past, we ask our LGBT alumni to be engaged with us in planning for our future!

Please consider joining us this April during our 2015 Celebrate weekend!