Mary Beth Maxwell, who has led the
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation for the last three years, has
resigned her position over repeated use of the N-word.
According to Politico
Playbook, HRC President Chad Griffin sent out a memo to
staffers informing them of the resignation.
In the memo, Griffin wrote that Maxwell
used the N-word twice in front of a colleague, once while telling “an
upsetting personal story” and a second time “in describing an
external situation that [she] found horrifying, in which racial and
homophobic slurs were used.”
After conducting an internal
investigation, Griffin said that he suspended Maxwell without pay on
Monday. On Wednesday, he accepted her resignation.
“[Maxwell] has taken full
responsibility for the harmful impact of using this word,” Griffin
wrote. “I share this context because the lesson learned here is
that 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 that word that matters. It simply is never acceptable for
that word to be said by an employee in the workplace, period.”
In a note to staffers, Maxwell said
that she deeply regretted her mistake.
“I do not want my action or my
presence to risk jeopardizing HRC's mission-critical work for the
full LGBTQ community,” she wrote. “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.”
Maxwell previously served in the Labor
Department in the Obama administration.
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is
the education arm of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest
LGBT rights advocate.