Human Rights Commission

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. 

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.
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


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