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Community Partner Spotlight: Shawn Captain and HARD

HARD (Hillsboro Against Racism and Discrimination) is an organization that was founded on the heels of the murder of George Floyd in May of 2020. Its first event; a March organized to protest his murder.

Since then, HARD has become a group focused on tackling the highly ignored problem of racism and racial profiling. HARD believes that all marginalized people, of any background, have a right to be heard. Please join us in welcoming them to this year's Hillsboro Pride in the Park 2023!


We took a moment to chat with Shawn Captain, HARD's intrepid leader about racism in Hillsboro and Highland County and what HARD is doing to combat it.

How has HARD impacted Hillsboro, Ohio?

“HARD has impacted Hillsboro by bringing awareness, sharing knowledge, promoting inclusivity in public institutions and providing targeted support for historically marginalized communities including, but not limited to: LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, Disabled, Economically Disadvantaged, and Veterans. HARD has organized and is leading ongoing dialogue with community members and leaders, including local school teachers, clergy, and city officials. Hillsboro Against Racism & Discrimination has sought to build safe spaces for progressive dialogue that promotes increased community sensitivity and inclusion for marginalized community members.”

Does HARD have plans for Juneteenth this year?

“HARD decided to have our very first Juneteenth celebration because we want to educate people in the area on what Juneteenth is and why it’s important. We also spoke to a prominent religious leader in the community on how churches can help raise awareness on racism and discrimination within our community and we were told that this conversation has already been had with the congregation and some believe that racism does exist, just not in Hillsboro. We were also told that when we had our BLM protest in 2020, people in this church had asked why we were having one because “black people don’t live in Hillsboro.” With our Juneteenth celebration we aim to expose Hillsboro to Black culture in the form of Black artists, Black vendors, and local Black history.”

How can people get involved with HARD?

“Anyone who would be interested in getting involved with HARD on projects, events, meetings, or to simply reach out with ideas of their own can do so by contacting us via our Facebook page or by emailing us at ohiohard2020@gmail.com.”

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