HRC Executive Resigns and Apologizes After Using Racial Slur

Mary Beth Maxwell, the head of the Human Rights Campaign’s educational arm, resigned last week after a coworker reported her for using the n-word. Reports from Politico  indicate she was:


“[recounting] an upsetting personal story in which the term was used”


“describing an external situation that [she] found horrifying, in which racial and homophobic slurs were used.”

These quotes were pulled from an internal email from the president of the HRC, Chad Griffin.


Griffin said that Maxwell had no bad intent in using the word but he added that it did not matter:

“Not having bad intent in using the word does not make it acceptable. I want to be clear, intent does not matter. It is the impact of the word that matters. It is simply never acceptable for that word to be said by an employee in the workplace, period.”

He suspended Maxwell without pay and after receiving the findings of the full investigation, he accepted her resignation.

Maxwell wrote a note to the HRC’s chief of staff expressing her regret and it was then forwarded to all employees and to Politico. She wrote:

“While in each instance I was conveying something that really happened- in the first I was emotional and scared that it had been said and in the second feeling urgency about addressing a deeply racist and homophobic encounter that a colleague recounted- I should never have said that word out loud. Period. I fully respect and support HRC taking action to make clear that our commitment to a fair and just workplace is unwavering and that each of us must be held accountable for that.”

h/t: Politico, Human Rights Campaign

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