HREC Utah founder and executive director, Carla Kelley has lived in Salt Lake City for the majority of her life. As a single mother of three, and as the mother of an openly gay son and grandson, has seen first-hand how issues such as racism and homophobia have contributed to the bullying issue that we are now faced with in this community and the nation.
When her children were grown, Carla returned to school at the University of Utah for three years and then received a scholarship to the California Institute of Integral Learning in San Francisco, California to complete her degree. In 1998, Carla graduated with a B.A. in Integral Studies; studies that teach the importance of a more unifying vision of the world. Her graduating project focused on anti-bias education and peace building within communities.
From this work and a series of shameful national tragedies, Carla was compelled to establish HREC 1999. The brutal deaths of Matthew Shepard in Wyoming, James Byrd Jr. in Jasper Texas, coupled with the tragedy at Columbine High School—all shared a common thread of intolerance, hatred and bullying.