Human Rights Commission

"Human Rights for Every Person Everywhere"
Our Mission
To ensure that no power goes unchecked, and that all citizens are afforded equal protection under the law.

The Human Rights Commission shall act to promote the Town of Amherst’s Human Rights Policy, to insure that no person, public or private, shall be denied any rights guaranteed pursuant to local, state, and/or federal law on the basis of race or color, gender, physical or mental ability, religion, socio-economic status, ethnic or national origin, affectional or sexual preference, lifestyle, or age for all persons coming within the Town of Amherst.

The Commission shall advise the Town and assist the Town Manager and Human Resources and Rights Director in the achievement of affirmative action/equal opportunity objectives, conduct and participate in educational activities related to its responsibilities, provide mediation, and review matters brought to its attention.

In conjunction with the Director, the Commission shall annually prepare a report of the State of Human Rights in Amherst with such recommendations as it deems appropriate concerning matters herein, taking reasonable precautions to protect the privacy of all involved parties.


Human Rights Commission meetings are open to the public and are scheduled from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month, summer excluded. Meetings are held at the Bangs Community Center in the South Meeting Room 101.

Year Appointed
Term Expiration
Ingrid Askew 2012 2017
Gregory Bascomb 2011 2016
Matthew Charity, Chair 2015 2018
Sidonio Ferreira 2013 2016
Sovann-Malis Loeung 2016 2017
Jessica Maposa 2015 2018
Brenda Mutai 2016 2018
Carol Ross 2012 2017
Deborah Radway, Director

Vacancy 1

Appointed by the Select Board: 9 members / 3 year term

How to Become a Commission Member
Commissioners are Amherst residents appointed to rotating 3 year terms by the Select Board. If you are interested in becoming a Commissioner, please complete and submit the Citizen Activity Form. In addition to Commission meetings, membership involves networking with other social justice groups, planning and conducting public events, advocacy, and promotion of the mission. At full capacity, the Commission has nine members.
On Sunday, June 15, 2014, the Amherst Human Rights Commission celebrated its annual Human Rights Heroes Awards and community picnic at Mill River Recreation Area. Under blue skies and plenty of sunshine, past and current Human Rights Heroes recipients, families, Commissioners, local elected officials and friends gathered to pay tribute to the 10 youth selected as 2014 Human Rights Heroes. Chair Greg Bascomb presented each recipient a glass globe and a certificate of their accomplishment with an inspirational quote from Desmond Tutu, who said “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”

Front row: Austin Ross, Mae Moskin, Yeji Lee, Aidan Urschel
Back row: Alejandra Garcia, Saliim Saulsberry, Tristan Cox, Angela Ononibaku, Camila Carpio. Missing was Taj Torres, who was participating at a national track meet.