Marakay Rogers: Sticking up to bullies

Growing up bullied lead her to a lifetime of sticking up for herself and others.

Presented by: Our York Media
Marakay Rogers (Our York Media)

Growing up as the only Jewish kid in town, Marakay Rogers learned early on what it felt like to be bullied.

Christ killer, they called her. She didn’t know what it meant, but she knew it wasn’t nice.

Her mom told her she needed to stick up for herself – and others.

That value resonated with Marakay.

“Everybody deserves respect,” she says.

She’s been fighting for civil rights and volunteering her talents to help others ever since.

“There are a lot of monsters in our lives that we discover are much smaller than we thought when we actually face them,” Marakay says.

Why are we here if we can’t use what we’ve got to help other people?

Marakay Rogers

That’s a lesson she learned sitting across from members of the KKK in her office at the York City Human Relations Committee.

They were there to claim they were being discriminated against.

Fear bubbled up inside her when she was told they were waiting in her office.

She took a deep breath.

“The Klan may be a problem,” she told herself. “But I’m here to solve things.”

As she sat down and began talking with them, she realized not only was she not really afraid, but she almost felt sad for them.

In the end, they were found not to be victims of discrimination.

Staring down members of the KKK empowered Marakay. Today, she continues to fight for civil rights, volunteering her skills as a lawyer to help fight for gay rights and in custody law.

She tries to pass on the values her mother taught her to the young people in her life.

“Why are we here if we can’t use what we’ve got to help other people?”

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