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North Carolina's HB2 causes W.K. Kellogg Foundation to move $1.5 million conference

Seen as major economic hit to city of Asheville

North Carolina's HB2 causes W.K. Kellogg Foundation to move $1.5 million conference
Photo: Omni Grove Park Inn Facebook page
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation was to have held conference at Omni Grove Park Inn for the fifth time.

The seventh-largest philanthropic foundation in the US has canceled plans to hold a $1.5 million conference in North Carolina because of the state’s anti-LGBTI law.

Before the recent passage of HB2, The W.K. Kellogg Foundation had planned to hold its Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation enterprise forum in August at the Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina.

‘We are cancelling this four-day conference which would have brought over 500 people to North Carolina and generated millions of dollars in economic activity for the state’s local economy,’ the foundation said in a statement.

Omni Grove Park expressed disappointment over the decision.

‘It is unfortunate that the Kellogg Foundation has decided not to have their event at our resort,’ Director of Public Relations & Community Outreach Tracey Johnston-Crum tells WOLS News. ‘That is their business decision and we respect, as we would with any client, their choice of location for their meetings.’

The forum is an opportunity for leaders from across the U.S. discuss how to deal with race, ethnicity and issues of discrimination in relation to healthcare, housing, education, criminal justice and employment.

It will now be held in December and in a different state.

HB2 bans all local LGBTI rights ordinances in the state. It was pushed forward to override an ordinance in Charlotte that would have allowed transgender people to use the bathroom of their gender identification.

‘Policies that deny any member of a community equal rights under the law do not reflect the values of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation,’ the group stated.

‘These actions are counter to our belief that all children deserve to live in families where they and their parents have equal rights and opportunities to thrive.’

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