His Grace Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos, Chancellor of the Metropolis of Chicago, has been reappointed to the United States Commission on Civil Rights, Illinois State Advisory Committee. His Grace is one of eighteen Illinois social advocates selected serve the committee for two-year terms.
A statement from Metropolis of Chicago reads, the “re-appointment is an honor for the Greek Orthodox community and a testament to the countless years of dedicated effort by Bishop Demetrios, as he has worked extensively within the areas of social justice and advocacy, building bridges of understanding and improving relationships.”
Each state has its own advisory committee, comprised of citizens familiar with local and state civil rights issues. Members assist with fact-finding, investigative and information dissemination functions. They serve on a voluntary basis. The commission advises the President and Congress of circumstances in which American citizens are being deprived of equal protection of laws because of color, race, religion , sex, national origin, age or disability.
In his extensive social advocacy and ministry, Bishop Demetrios has been a tireless advocate for persons living with HIV/AIDS and the abolition of the death penalty. In 1992, he founded the Bishop’s Task Force on AIDS as a ministry of the Greek Orthodox Christian Church – the first formal response by the Church in North America.
Bishop Demetrios has served two terms as President of the Illinois Coalition to the Abolish the Death Penalty. More recently, these efforts compelled Illinois Governor Pat Quinn to sign legislation abolishing capital punishment in Illinois. He is also a Past President of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago, and has worked to find common ground between the Turkish and Greek communities here and abroad through collaboration with the Niagara Foundation and other groups.