The people who live and work in Covington are not a homogenous population, and we’re proud of that fact. We strive on a daily basis to be a welcoming and inclusive place for all people, both within City government and in the city at large. We’re not shy about that.

Among the steps we’ve taken to publicize and formalize our commitment:

Diversity Statement

In 2015, the Covington Board of Commissioners adopted a diversity statement, seen HERE, to commit itself to maintaining a culturally progressive and socially reflective workforce that represents, supports, and celebrates diversity at all levels within the city. 

Human Rights Ordinance

Back in 2003, Covington became one of the first Kentucky cities to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations, resort and amusement. Our Human Rights Ordinance can be seen HERE.

Human Rights Commission

The commission, HERE, was established “to foster mutual respect and understanding and create an atmosphere conducive to the promotion of amicable relations among all members of the city’s community.”

Economic strategy

Covington embraces inclusivity not only because it’s the right thing to do but also because it’s the smart thing to do. It helps us attract talent and investment. A citywide economic development strategy written in 2019, HERE, with the help of a national site selection consultant saluted Covington’s history as “a pathfinder and leader of human rights policies.” It concluded that the City’s reputation for being “welcoming” was a positive factor in its marketing.

Entrepreneurial support

To make sure we nurture and foster entrepreneurship for all populations, Covington’s Small Business Program, HERE, gives “bonus points” for businesses owned by minorities, women, and military veterans.

Diverse representation

Election Day 2020 brought a renewed focus on diversity in Covington, and likely made history at the same time, HERE.

The Crown Act

In October 2020, Covington became the first city in Kentucky to adopt protection from discrimination related to hair texture and hairstyles commonly associated with a particular race or national origin. The vehicle for that protection? The City added the provisions of The CROWN Act – an acronym that stands for “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair” – into the City’s Human Rights Ordinance, as seen HERE.

Conversion therapy

In March 2020, Covington became the first Kentucky city to ban the dangerous practice of so-called “conversion therapy” for LGBTQ youth. Written into the City’s Code of Ordinances, the law forbids the use of psychological or spiritual interventions in attempts to force a person to change their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, as seen HERE.

Latino Center

At last count, 7 percent of Covington’s population is of Hispanic or Latino heritage, an increase of 98 percent from 10 years ago. About two blocks west of City Hall on Pike Street is the Esperanza Latino Center, the premier center in Northern Kentucky advocating and providing services for the Hispanic/Latino and multicultural community.


Beginning in 2022, the City of Covington recognizes Juneteenth as an official holiday for many City employees. The day, celebrated on or around June 19, has long been celebrated by many African-Americans as “Freedom Day,” marking the end to slavery in the United States. HERE is the official order.

Joint King Day celebration

To maintain community focus on the life and message of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Covington each year collaborates with other Kenton County cities to organize and sponsor a joint event. The event is part celebration, part education, and part inspiration to continue making progress on civil rights issues. For information about previous events, see HERE, HERE, and HERE.

NKY Pride

Every June, Covington is the host city and a sponsor of Northern Kentucky’s celebration of Pride. The week typically includes a parade (in which City leaders and staff participate), a festival in Goebel Park and MainStrasse Village, and now a regional Community Awards Celebration. Some previous coverage, HERE. As an outgrowth of Pride, organizers opened the NKY Pride Center on Pike Street next to Esperanza to advance LGBTQ+ equity and inclusion efforts in the region.

Old Timers Reunion

2021 saw the 34th Old Timers Reunion centered at the City’s Randolph Park. Put on with financial support from the City, the yearly festival is the event-of-the-year for many families in Covington’s Eastside neighborhood, bringing relatives from across the United States back home for music, food, camaraderie, and sporting events.

MEI score

The City is annually assessed by the nation’s largest LGBTQ advocacy group, the Human Rights Campaign, for how well our laws, policies, and services treat LGBTQ people who live and work here. Covington’s Municipal Equality Index (MEI) score in 2022 was 100 out of 100, as seen at "Covington earns top LGBT ‘score’ ".

LGBTQ Liaison

City Manager Ken Smith is the LGBTQ+ Liaison in the executive branch of City government. Ken can be reached at 859-292-2125,


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