Wright State University’s director of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and ally (LGBTQA) affairs has accepted an offer to serve on the Dayton Human Relations Council, which works to review fair housing cases and support small businesses.
Petey Peterson is excited to serve on the council because of a Dayton city ordinance that protects people based on sexual identity and gender identity. The State of Ohio does not have laws that protect these identities, so LGBTQA people can legally be fired or denied housing because of their identity.
“But luckily, because of the work of the City of Dayton, we are protected within the city limits,” Peterson said.
Peterson said that Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley ’09 encouraged Peterson to join the council.
Serving on the council will help Peterson more deeply connect and serve the city where they live. Peterson believes that “if you own property and are part of neighborhoods and communities, you give back to that community.”
Additionally, the council gives Peterson a chance to extend their work with the LGBTQA community of Dayton in a new way.
“It’s nice to take that expertise into the city of Dayton because our students come from the city of Dayton and return and live there, so making both the school I work at and also where I live and where students, faculty and staff live more inclusive and more informed is a really exciting opportunity,” Peterson said.
Outside of their work with Wright State and the Human Relations Council, Peterson also works with the Coalition for LGBT Awareness with the American College Personnel Association, where they have served as an equity officer for nearly five years. Through the coalition, Peterson attends a yearly convention, where there are events and organizations that support college professionals who are in the LGBT community.
One of the core reasons Peterson believes they were asked to join the Human Relations Council is their connection to the LGBTQA community of Dayton. Peterson is part of the Greater Dayton LGBTQA Center Board.
The council “really wants to build a strong relationship to the LGBTQA community of Dayton, and they want the community to know that they are someone the city of Dayton wants to protect and affirm and that this is a resource they can utilize,” Peterson said.