Bradley Minerd is dedicated to equality, community, and service

Editor's Note: This is the first of two stories sharing the voices of members of Equality Springfield, leading up to Springfield's annual Pride event. You can find the second story here.

A committed defender of equality, Bradley Minerd, is passionate about the Springfield community.

A corrections officer with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Minerd is dedicated to being a public servant both at his job and as the current president of Equality Springfield, a nonprofit formed in 2010 by a group of citizens who envisioned a greater Springfield in which LGBTQ+ people are welcomed and appreciated. 

The group, which plans Springfield Pride each year, champions an inclusive environment for the LGBTQ+ community through education, advocacy, and social connections. Equality Springfield envisions seeing a Clark County community that honors, values, and embraces a tapestry of diverse individuals, according to its website.

“A lot of people don’t realize that in the State of Ohio it’s legal to be fired solely based on sexual orientation, so Equality Springfield was founded in 2010 because a group of people saw a hole in the law and desired to help the LGBT community,” Minerd says. “The primary focus was to pass an anti-discriminate law to help people. We kept fighting it, educating the population, and finally in 2019, it was pushed forward, and it is now illegal to discriminate. However, there is still a lot of work to be done.

"That was the main focus for the first seven years of Equality Springfield, now it’s getting involved in the community and being a conduit for people and directing them to the proper resources for health care, to report discrimination, and continue to be an advocacy group for this population to keep moving forward.”

President of Equality Springfield since January 2022, Minerd has been a part of the group for eight years, previously serving as vice president for five.

“I got involved right after the first Pride event they hosted in Clark County,” Minerd says. “I wasn’t completely out at that point. The group became important to me and allowed me be comfortable in my own skin and in letting me be out to everyone, and I don’t hide it anymore."

When Minerd began going to meetings, he decided to get involved in planning Springfield's Pride event.

In celebration of Pride month every June, Ohio splits dates up among cities to ensure there is a festival every weekend. Equality Springfield will host Springfield Pride on Saturday, June 25, 2022, but there will will events throughout that weekend.

“Traditionally, it’s a one-day event for four hours on a Saturday, but we expanded it this year with a Friday night (June 24) kickoff party at 9 p.m. with a drag show, raffle, and silent auction at Mother Stewart’s Brewing (Company) and a Pride brunch on Sunday (June 26) at Courtyard by Marriott’s Mela Urban Bistro.

"Our main sponsors, the Merchants National Bank and Konecranes, as well as many other sponsors, have allowed us to make it a Pride weekend.”

The main Pride event will take place from noon to 4 p.m. on City Hall Plaza. The event will include vendors with items for sale, sponsor tables, a beer garden hosted by Equality Springfield, a drag show, drag queen reading time, a family area, prizes, crafts, music, and other live performances, including Shelby Knightley, Amanda Sue, and more local performers.

Visit Equality Springfield’s Facebook page for more details about Springfield's Pride events.

Born and raised in Springfield, Minerd attended Springfield City Schools, sits on
the City of Springfield Historic Landmarks Commission, is part of the Springfield Police Division's Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association, and is a member of the Box 27 organization - an auxiliary division of the Springfield Fire and Rescue Division that refills air tanks and provides provisions and other support to the firefighters.

“I am very passionate about Springfield, there is nothing like your hometown and I am drawn to the city mostly because it’s my hometown,” he says. “I remember saying for years that I can’t wait till I get out of this town, and I decided to live in Philadelphia for three months, and something just switched in me. I lived in a few other places, then decided that I wanted to come back to Springfield.

"During the last five years, leaders of Springfield have focused on growing
and wanting to become better, and just seeing the changes happen, it really revitalizes hope for the city.”

Minerd has been with the Sheriff’s Office for two years and works with about 200 inmates on a daily basis.

“It’s a rewarding job, but high-stress,” says Minerd, who is following the footsteps of his aunt and uncle's law enforcement careers, as both retired from the Springfield Police Department.

He is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Clark State College.

“My philosophy is that it takes a community to build a person,” he continued. “Clark County has given me a lot over my life, helped me grow, and there’s nothing more rewarding than public service. As a corrections officer, we have to sometimes be a jack-of-all-trades, listen to inmates, be there to be an ear, and a rule enforcer. Sometimes all they want is an ear. Our motto is care, custody, and control – keep the jail safe. At the end of the day, it’s about public service.”

Read more articles by Cindy Holbrook.