Human Rights Commission

"Human Rights for Every Person Everywhere"

                                           Amherst Is a Welcoming Community

Click the link above for a Joint statement from the Town Manager, Police Chief, and School

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 generally scheduled from 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month, summer excluded.  Please check the Town calendar for date and time of the next meeting.  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 2017
Emily Boutilier 2017 2019
Matthew Charity, Chair 2015 2019
Sidonio Ferreira 2013 2019
Sovann-Malis Loeung 2016 2017
Jessica Maposa 2015 2018
Brenda Mutai 2016 2018
Carol Ross 2012
Deborah Radway, Director

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.


The Commission presented the 12th annual Human Rights Heroes awards at a luncheon on Saturday, June 18th,  2016.  Recognized were Amherst area youth who have shown an ability to love and care for one another through demonstrated acts of kindness, unselfishness, social courage or community service.

Nominators included teachers, advisors, students and community members.    The 2016 recipients are  4 Wildwood Elementary 6th grade students: Keidy Cardoso, Phoenix Ferreira Ford, Bryson Raines and Zayd Sadiq; 18 Amherst Regional Middle School 8th grade students representing Student Advocates for Change: and ARHS graduating senior Lanre Thomas.  A special Hero award was  given to outgoing Commissioner Gregory Bascomb to recognize his six years of human rights  leadership.

Akeme Mallory (9th grade) dedicated his poem "What does it mean to be a Hero?" to the 2016 Human Rights Hero Awards recipients.
             What does it mean to be a Hero?

There are a lot of hero’s in my life:  coaches, teachers, my mother, people who do what’s right;

Someone who can change lives for the better 
Someone who can bring a community together
Does great things people can remember forever
Not afraid to believe in something
Not afraid to show how they feel;
Not afraid to speak on what’s real
A hero feeds people with hopes and dreams, no matter how bad things might seem
A hero has the courage to stand up for what’s right

A hero fought for equality among Black and White.
A hero gives people a voice
Makes the right choice
A hero has a positive influence that surrounds them
Motivation and dedication – to be a hero is an inspiration.

A hero is someone who can speak their mind; doesn’t want to see anybody fall behind
A hero is someone who stays strong; someone who proves their doubters wrong.
You can be a hero by showing passion in what you do. You can be a hero by just being you. 



2016 Recipients
The 2016 recipients are:
(Top) 18 Amherst Regional Middle School 8th grade students representing Student Advocates for Change
(Bottom Left) 4 Wildwood Elementary 6th grade students: 
Keidy Cardoso, Phoenix Ferreira Ford, Bryson Raines, Zayd Sadiq
(Bottom Right) ARHS graduating senior Lanre Thomas

A special Hero award was given to outgoing Commissioner Gregory Bascomb to recognize his six years of human rights leadership.