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For 19 years, attorney Tanya Hughes has worked for the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. Before that, she was a prosecutor in New York. But in her new role as the CHRO’s permanent executive director, she sees herself just as much as a teacher. “We try to take on some of the current issues,” said Hughes.

For example, she hopes to launch a dialogue that will result in educating Connecticut residents of all types that it’s never acceptable to use the N-word, inside the workplace or anywhere else. “There’s a big cultural divide between the N-word on whether it should be used or not…It’s not appropriate anywhere, anytime,” said Hughes, and African American. She said that younger people tend to think the word is OK as long as it’s not used in anger. “They think it’s a term of endearment; it’s never a term of endearment,” Hughes said.

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