Human Rights Commission

The Human Rights Commission has as its prime purpose to promote a community of mutual respect and to honor our diversity. For the 13th year, the Human Rights Youth Heroism Awards celebrate area youth.  These awards celebrate local youth who demonstrate acts of kindness, unselfishness, social courage or service within their families, schools or community. Please nominate a young person or group you have observed displaying these acts in the past year. We recognize youth who live in or attend any school in town.  Nominations are due by May 18, 2018, to humanrights@amherstma.gov or to the Commission at Town Hall.  The 2018 heroes will be celebrated at our community picnic, June 3 from 10:00 am-1:00 pm at Mill River Recreation Area. Please join us! 

A joint statement from the Town Manager, Police Chief, and School Superintendent
 


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. 

Meetings 


Human Rights Commission meetings are open to the public and are generally scheduled from 5:45 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. 
2017 Human Rights Commission Committee Liaison roles:
  • Public Safety-Matthew Charity, Elizabeth Cahn, Sid Ferreira
  • Education- Emily Boutilier, Sophia Maldonado
  • Other municipal Human Rights groups- Sovann-Malis Loeung
  • Housing-Sid Ferreira, Sovann-Malis Loeung
  • Public Health- Elizabeth Cahn
  • Interfaith- Emily Boutilier, Elizabeth Cahn
  • Amnesty International & NAACP- Matthew Charity

Members

  Year Appointed Term Expiration
Emily Boutilier 2017 2019
Elizabeth Cahn 2017 2020
Matthew Charity, Chair 2015 2018
Sidonio Ferreira 2013 2019
Sovann-Malis Loeung  2016 2020
Sophia Maldonado 2017 2020
Tristan Whalen 2018 2019
Vacancy   2019
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 term. 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.