Jennifer Riley-Collins Issues Personal Statement on Her Anniversary as Executive Director

Jackson, Miss. –Three years ago today, I started my new job as Executive Director of the ACLU of Mississippi. I was filled with hope and encouraged that I would help to make Mississippi better at the helm. Today, I am once again reminded of what I know God said to me when I returned to Mississippi: "There is work yet to be done".

Yes, I, like many Mississippians, even those who may not look or love like you do, identify as a Christian. This was my identity before I took this position. It will be my identity afterwards and most importantly while I have this position. I fight for the rights and refuse to judge others because of my Christian belief. The God I serve is a God of love, not hate. He commands us to “show no favoritism.” I am therefore, disturbed when in the name of Christianity, the Mississippi Legislature attempts to legalize discrimination.

"Yes, Lord I will go!" That was my response when I was asked to stand in the gap on behalf of the disenfranchised. I am proud of the ACLU of Mississippi and other partner organizations like the Human Rights Campaign and Planned Parenthood who have also heeded the call. This is a dark day. Mississippi has seen dark days before, but we are determined, despite laws meant to hold us back, that Mississippi will be made better.