March 21st is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination--a valuable opportunity for state and local agencies and officials to express support for the universal norms of dignity, equality and fairness set forth in the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination ("CERD"), an international human rights treaty that the U.S. ratified CERD in 1994. More.
Updated March 19, 2013
Embark on a fun-filled educational tour traveling south to explore the birth place of the Civil Rights Movement. We will retrace the Freedom Trail and learn about Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Greensboro sit-ins, Voters Rights and other signifi cant events of the American Civil Rights Movement. Hosted by the Montgomery County, MD Office of Human Rights. Details Here!
Updated January 14, 2013
CELEBRATE HUMAN RIGHTS DAY 2012
The United Nations' (UN) Human Rights Day is annually observed December 10 to mark the anniversary of the presentation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Human rights provide a foundation for building a just and peaceful world. Every human being on the planet has the right to dignity, respect, and freedom - whatever their race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, wealth or other status.
On 10 December 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
See What Members Agencies are Doing to Celebrate. Here.
PA Human Relations Commission Welcomes New Pittsburg Regional Director
Adam Stalczynski joined the staff of the PA Human Relations Commission as Pittsburgh regional director on Dec. 10, 2012. He comes to PHRC with over 14 years of experience managing projects and grants, and designing solutions to complex social and economic problems in developing countries around the world. He has forged strategic partnerships between diverse public and private organizations to address human rights, economic and environmental challenges, producing real, measurable improvements in the lives of individuals and communities. More. Posted December 12, 2012
Notice to Members. The South Bend Human Rights Commission will be moving effective November 6, 2012. The new address is 319 N. Niles Avenue, South Bend, Indiana 46617. The phone number will remain the same. See member directory for additional contact information.
Posted November 6, 2012
The Ontario Human Rights Commission and the Ontario Heritage Trust are pleased to announce an upcoming dialogue and expo on human rights in Ontario.
When: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Dialogue and expo: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (registration begins at 8:30 a.m.)
Where: Hart House – 7 Hart House Circle, Toronto
What: Dialogue and expo event, examining historical and current human rights issues in Ontario
Please join us on October 18 to take part in a dialogue and expo celebrating human rights in Ontario. The Trust and the Ontario Human Rights Commission are bringing together leading groups, organizations and individuals committed to human rights for a dialogue about the past, present and future of human rights in Ontario.
Confirmed speakers include:
- Bromley Armstrong – Longtime labour activist and former Commissioner, Ontario Human Rights Commission
- Mary Cornish – Human rights lawyer and chair of 1992 taskforce that produced “Achieving Equality: A Report on Human Rights Reform”
- Barbara Hall – Chief Commissioner, Ontario Human Rights Commission
- Aidan Johnson – Lawyer, Legal Aid Ontario, specializing in Charter of Rights and Freedoms issues and transgender rights
- David Lepofsky – Lawyer, specializing in constitutional and human rights law
- Lali Mohammed – Diversity and equity activist
- David Rayside – Professor, University of Toronto
- Uzma Shakir – Director, Diversity and Human Rights Division, City of Toronto
- Dr. Thomas H.B. Symons – Chairman, Ontario Heritage Trust, former Chairman of the Ontario Human Rights Commission and contributor to “Life Together: A Report on Human Rights in Ontario”
Expert speakers will discuss various human rights issues, panel discussions will provide a dynamic forum for further dialogue, and an expo will enable attendees to interact with human rights organizations. The day’s activities will focus on how leaders in the field have created change, and will provide insight into the future of human rights, as seen by those who are front-line agents of change. In the coming weeks, we will announce names of participating event speakers. Bookmark this page and visit for updated information.
A free lunch will be provided at the event, and will accommodate vegetarian, dairy-free vegetarian, wheat-free and nut-free options. If you have a dietary restriction, please let us know in the Dietary restrictions section of the registration form.
Please let us know if you require any Code-related accommodation.
For more information, email or call us at 416-314-0448.
Posted September 26, 2012
Governing for Racial Equity Conference December 2012
The City of Seattle is hosting a Governing for Racial Equity conference December 13th and 14th. The save-the-date announcement is below. Key note speakers will include Van Jones and Connie Rice, and there will be a multitude of great workshops. I’ve attached the sponsorship request and form in case any of you are also interested in sponsoring the conference (the deadline is listed as September 1, but we are still accepting sponsors). Although it is focused on the Northwest, we welcome the participation of civil rights and racial equity colleagues from across the country. Registration will open mid-September. If you would like to be added to the e-mail list, please contact Brenda Anibarro (Brenda.email@example.com or 206-684-4514). Click here for more information. Posted September 6, 2012
Human and Civil Rights In The News……..
American University Washington College of Law (WCL) will be hosting a discussion about the human rights impact of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on Thursday, September 6th from 4:00-5:30pm, featuring Ron McCallum, Chair of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
WCL Dean Claudio Grossman will provide introductory remarks and other speakers include: Mary Crock, Professor of Public Law at the University of Sydney Law School; John Wodatch, former Director of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division’s Section on Disability Rights; and WCL Professor Robert Dinerstein, Associate Dean for Experiential Education and the Director of the Disability Rights Law Clinic. Topics will include the role of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, recent constructive dialogues on the Committee, the interplay between humanitarian law and the CRPD, as well as the prospects of U.S. ratification of the Convention.
The event provides a unique opportunity to discuss important issues in disability and human rights, and we would appreciate your help in promoting it through a variety of avenues that you deem appropriate. Please find below the promotional flyer which has more information about the event. Posted August 29, 2012
Metro Human Relations Commission Holds 4-day Program
The Metro Human Relations Commission and the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP), an accredited graduate school, are joining forces to lead restorative practices initiatives in Nashville and the surrounding region. This enterprise begins with the MHRC hosting the Institute's first comprehensive training event in the Southeast. And you are invited to attend!
The four-day program, Basic Restorative Practices, will be held September 18-21, at the Martin Professional Development Center, 2400 Fairfax Avenue, in Nashville, TN. Basic Restorative Practices imparts practical knowledge and skills that can be used immediately in personal and professional life—by those in education, criminal justice, counseling, business leadership, social and government services, the pastoral field, volunteer organizing, or other organizational settings. Participants will leave grounded in the theory of restorative practices, and with skills for conducting restorative circles and conferences with families and in organizational settings.
Our goal is to build capacity and thought leadership about engaging and resolving conflict in ways that develop community where the very idea of connection seems impossible. Restorative practice is about mutual service at the very core. It transforms relationships and conflict through an uncompromising regard for everyone involved and commitment to working “with” people, rather than doing things to them or for them.
Don’t miss this unique opportunity; seating is limited. You can register online for the full four-day program. Per diem registration and academic credit for the training is also offered through IIRP’s Graduate School. To access these options, email the IIRP Registrar, or call 610-807-9221.
Know Your Rights - Redefining Criminology - The World of Police Brutality
Article contributed by Criminology.com
Posted June 6, 1012
Human and Civil Rights In The News……..
Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC
The ministerial exception. This case involves the application of that exception to specific facts. Note - it is a unanimous decision.
The court today recognized the “ministerial” exception that prevents application and enforcement of EEO laws to religious organizations when making employment decisions regarding ministers. In this case, the Plaintiff was a “called” teacher who sought to sue the religious organization for adverse employment decisions. The district court ruled against her, the 6th Circuit determined she was not a minister and the SCT reversed. http://sblog.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/10-553.pdf
Posted January 11, 2012
FROM THE DESK OF THE PRESIDENT
We encourage you to use this Human Rights Day, December 10, 2011, as an opportunity to fulfill this commitment and we are happy to support you in your efforts. Please let us know how you will celebrate and promote Human Rights Day in your community by sending an email to IAOHRAoutreach@law.columbia.edu and to firstname.lastname@example.org .
For the past several years, IAOHRA members have used Human Rights Days to advance human rights awareness and IAOHRA and the Human Rights at Home Campaign (HuRAH) have highlighted these efforts on the official IAOHRA website. This year’s efforts will likewise be highlighted on the official IAOHRA website and the HuRAH website. November 28, 2011
SPECIAL NOTICE FROM THE IAOHRA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
By unanimous affirmation of the members of the Board of the International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies and in accordance with the Bylaws of the Association, Shawn Martel-Moore is the President of IAOHRA immediately. The position of President became vacant upon the separation of Gerald Foday from his position as Director of the City of Fort Wayne Metropolitan Human Relations Commission. Officers of IAOHRA must be employed by an IAOHRA member Agency. See bio for Shawn Martel Moore here. October 18, 2011
"HUMAN RIGHTS ARE AT HOME IN EUGENE, OREGON"
See the "Human Rights Are at Home In Eugene, Oregon" YouTube video about Eugene's human rights implementation. Also please vist www.humanrightscity.com for more information on Eugene and domestic/local implementation more generally. September 16, 2011
FORT WORTH HRC WIN IAOHRA PRESIDENT'S AWARD
The International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies this week presented its President’s Award jointly to Fairness Fort Worth and the city of Fort Worth’s Human Relations Commission. Read More. September 1, 2011
IAOHRA ANNOUNCES NEW PRESIDENT. Gerald Foday, the newly elected President of IAOHRA was sworn in on Wednesday, August 31 during the 2011 IAOHRA Annual Conference. Read More. September 1, 2011PECIAL NOTE: By unanimous affirmation of the members of the Board of the International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies and in accordance with the Bylaws of the Association, Shawn Martel-Moore is the President of IAOHRA immediately. The position of President became vacant upon the separation of Gerald Foday from his position as Director of the City of Fort Wayne Metropolitan Human Relations Commission. Officers of IAOHRA must be employed by an IAOHRA member Agency. See bio for Shawn Martel Moore here. October 18, 2011
HUD News Release
|HUD No. 11-179
August 29, 2011
FAIR HOUSING REPORT DEMONSTRATES HUD’S EFFORTS TO END HOUSING DISCRIMINATION
WASHINGTON – A report released today by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) shows that the agency is resolving individual housing discrimination complaints faster, increasing its focus on complaints that affect multiple people, and launching more investigations using its authority to initiate cases on behalf of discrimination victims where no one has filed a complaint. HUD’s Annual State of Fair Housing Report also illustrates how the agency is helping municipalities and state and local agencies receiving HUD funding to comply with civil rights requirements and holding non-compliant recipients accountable.
“Our goal is to put an end to unlawful housing discrimination,” said John Trasviña, HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “We have made progress in reducing housing discrimination, but more work needs to be done to make ‘fair housing…part of the American way of life,’ as President Johnson said in 1968 when he signed the Fair Housing Act into law.”
Updated September 1, 2011
City-County Human Relations Commission to Hold Annual Dinner September 29; Keynote Speaker will be the Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery(Evansville, IN) – August 19, 2011 – The Evansville-Vanderburgh County Human Relations Commission will hold its Annual Dinner on Thursday, September 29, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. at The Centre. The keynote speaker will be civil rights activist Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery.
Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel will present the 2011 Mayor’s Celebration of Diversity Awards at the Annual Dinner. The awards recognize businesses, organizations, and individuals that embrace and celebrate diversity. Nominations will be accepted through Friday, September 9. To make a nomination, please go to www.evansvillegov.org/diversityawards or contact the Human Relations Commission at (812) 436-4927.
Ticket donations are $35.00 per person. Corporate sponsorships are also available. Please contact the Human Relations Commission at (812) 436-4927 before Friday, September 16, to make a reservation.
Updated August 18, 2011
Plessy and Ferguson: Descendants of a divisive Supreme Court decision unit Robert Barnes, Reporter, Washington Post , June 6, 2011 Read more here.
Important Note from National Fair Housing Training Academy
The Patricia Roberts Harris National Fair Housing Training Academy will resume on-site training on at 600 Maryland Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20024
Certification Courses available in July. Click here for more information. REGISTER TODAY!!!!
Notice to FHAP Agencies. HUD recently issued to important guidance memos.
Learn more here. February 28, 2011
Govenor Quinn Annouces First Round of Cabinet Apointments
Six Appointees to Help Lead Administration’s Continued Efforts to Reform State Government, Address Fiscal Challenges
CHICAGO – January 31, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today made six appointments to his executive cabinet. Today’s actions begin a series of appointments Governor Quinn will make over the first quarter of 2011 as he continues fulfilling his commitment to creating jobs, recovering our economy and making state government more efficient and accountable to the people of Illinois.
Governor Quinn re-appointed Director Rocco Claps (IAOHRA Member) to the Department of Human Rights, Director Brian Hamer to the Department of Revenue, Director Julie Hamos to the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Secretary Gary Hannig to the Department of Transportation, Director Erwin McEwen to the Department of Children and Family Services and Secretary Michelle R.B. Saddler to the Department of Human Services. Click here for more details. February 8, 2011
Meeting Scheduled for January 19, 2011. Click here for details.
The International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies (IAOHRA) notes with great sadness the passing of Paul Miller. Professor Miller served ten years as a Commissioner at the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). IAOHRA always maintained an outstanding relationship with Commissioner Miller and recognized him as an outstanding member of the Commission and a true champion of Equal Opportunity. Our deepest condolences are extended to the Miller family and the Faculty and students at the University of Washington Law School. (October 26, 2010)
IAOHRA 2010 Conference Report. See highlights from the 2010 Annual Conference held August 29 in Mobile, Alabama. More
International Human Rights and National Origin Discrimination
In recent months, issues of immigration policy and border security have permeated the media, with a focus on issues of racial discrimination, citizenship status, and law enforcement. Today, we take a moment to discuss how an international human rights framework addresses discrimination based on national origin, including treatment of non-citizens and migrants (persons outside the territory of the State of which they are nationals or citizens and are often in the U.S. for work purposes). More Topeka Human Relations Department Eliminated e 23, 2010 - The city council voted 5-2 to approve the change in ordinance that eliminated the Human Relations department and all enforcement and investigative activities. The volunteer Commission has been retained and will be put under the auspices of the City Manager’s office with his existing staff to provide support. The Commission is charged with continuing outreach and education activities. More
WASHINGTON DC – IAOHRA is saddened by the passing of Dr. Dorothy Height, civil rights pioneer and social justice advocate. She was the president of the National Council of Negro Women for forty years, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994, and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2004. Ms. Height was recognized by Barnard for her achievements as an honorary alumna during its commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision. (June 2010)
Holiday Greetings from IAOHRA President, Leon Russell (Dec 2009)
Univeral Declaration of Human Rights Outreach
On September 1, 2009, in response to a Report issued by IAOHRA and Columbia Law Schools Human Rights Institute, the IAOHRA membership adopted a Resolution “to promote and encourage the use of international human rights by official state and local human rights agencies.” Through adoption of this Resolution, each IAOHRA member committed to take at least one action, big or small, to use international human rights in its work in the next year. We would like to provide ideas for how IAOHRA members can fulfill their commitment under the Resolution by commemorating Human Rights Day on December 10.
- Introduction - UDHR Outreach
- 2009 International Human Rights Resolution for IAOHRA
- Sample Human Rights Day Email
- Sample Human Rights Day Resolution
- Sample Op Ed Human Rights Day
- UDHR Flyer
IAOHRA Comments on Ft. Hood Incident, The International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies joins with our nation’s leadership in condemning this horrific act and send our sincere condolences to the families of those service men and women who were killed or injured. We mourn our nation’s loss and we pray for the speedy recovery of those who were injured. (Nov 2009)
IAOHRA Sends Letter of Congratulations to Honorable Thomas E. Perez, on the occasion of his confirmation by the United States Senate as the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. More (Oct 2009)
IAOHRA Announces It's Newly Elected Board Member, Galen D. Kirkland, Commissioner, New York State Division of Human Rights. More (September 2009)
Resolutions Adopted at the 2009 Annual Corporate Meeting held on September 1, 2009 in Washington, DC. (September 2009)
VIEW OFFICIAL CANCELLATION NOTICE FOR 2009 NAHRW-IAOHRA Joint Training Conference
Aug. 29-Sept. 4, 2009 - Century City Hyatt , Los Angeles, California
2008 IAOHRA Resolutions
IAOHRA Issues Statement on the Election of President Barack Obama, (November 5, 2008)
National Fair Housing Training Academy Gets Permanent Home. Academy will offer fair housing training at the U Department of Agriculture Graduate School (Oct 2008) Full Details ;
Conference Materials and Agenda from the 2008 NAHRW-IAOHRA Joint Conference held in Detroit, Michigan