About

The Human Rights Commission (HRC) was established in 1969. It is comprised of 11 voting members and 1 non-voting student member, 18 years old or under. Commissioners must live in Howard County and represent the diversity of county residents.

The duties and responsibilities of the Commission are prescribed by law and include recommending a civil rights policy to the County Executive and the County Council, as well as having the authority to conduct surveys and studies concerning civil liberties in order to promote equality in the community. The HRC's duties also include engaging and educating the community, studying and investigating human rights issues, proposing and improving policies on human rights, and interpreting and enforcing the Howard County Human Rights Code. In addition to hosting the annual HRC awards, they support OHRE outreach activities. 

 

Commission Information

Title

Commissioners

Content

The Human Rights Commission is comprised of 11 voting members and 1 non-voting student member.

Name & Role (if applicable) Term Expiration
Lynda Earle, Chair 3/1/2024
Gabriel Terrasa, Vice Chair 5/4/2025
Tiffany Releford, Corresponding Secretary 9/8/2024
Nina Basu 4/4/2025
Bianca Chang 3/1/2025
Bob Ford 3/1/2026
Joan Hash 6/1/2024
Jonah Hornum 3/1/2024
Peter Hwang 3/21/2024
Scott B. Markow 3/1/2026
Kui Zhao 3/1/2025
Eneanya Obioha, Student Member 6/30/2024
Title

Howard County Government Staff

Content
  • Yolanda F. Sonnier, Executive Secretary
  • Hyunjae Shin, HRC Legal Counsel, Howard County Office of Law
  • Claudia M. Allen, Case Manager
  • Holly Hoang, Recording Secretary
Title

Rules of Procedure

Content

The Howard County Human Rights Commission (the "Commission") has adopted amended Rules of Procedure (the "Rules") by unanimous vote during a virtual public hearing that took place on Wednesday, December 13, 2023 at 7:00pm.

To see the amended Rules, click the link below.

Human Rights Commission Rules of Procedure

Title

Meeting Schedule

Content

The Human Rights Commission (HRC) meets on the third Thursday of every month at 7:00pm, except for the month of August. All HRC meetings are open to the public. Please see the Commission's meeting agendas for information on how to attend in person or virtually.

2024 Meeting Dates:

  • Thursday, January 18, 2024
  • Thursday, January 25, 2024 – Special Meeting
  • Saturday, January 27, 2024 – 2024 HRC Retreat 
  • Thursday, February 15, 2024 
  • Thursday, March 21, 2024
  • Thursday, April 18, 2024 
  • Thursday, May 16, 2024
  • Thursday, June 20, 2024
  • Thursday, July 18, 2024
  • Thursday, September 19, 2024
  • Thursday, October 17, 2024
  • Thursday, November 21, 2024
  • Thursday, December 19, 2024

 

 

Title

Opportunities for Partnerships & Engagement

Content

As part of its outreach efforts, the Human Rights Commission is interested in partnering with organizations and community groups to support events focused on bringing our citizens together for beneficial and/or enlightening purposes. We welcome opportunities to share information on services supported by the HRC and to assist and educate county residents. The level of support offered may vary based on the type of event and its focus.

If you are interested in partnering or seeking co-sponsorship with the Human Rights Commission, please provide the following information, and submit a request to [email protected].

  • Name
  • Email
  • Phone Number
  • Event Name
  • Event Date/Time
  • Event Location
  • Event Description
  • Type of Participation Requested of HRC

Please share this information with your friends and other organizations you may participate with. We are here to serve the community and welcome any opportunities to become an event partner.

Meeting Agendas & Minutes

Title

2024

Content

February 15th

January 27th – Annual Planning Retreat

January 25th – Special Meeting

January 18th

Title

2023

Content

December 20th – Date Change

December 13th – Public Hearing Re: the Adoption of Amended Rules of Procedure

November 16th 

October 19th 

September 21st  

September 12th – OHRE Commission Gathering

July 20th

June 15th 

May 18th

April 20th

March 16th

February 16th

January 19th

January 7th – Annual Planning Retreat

Title

2022

Content

December 15th 

November 17th 

October 20th 

September 15th 

July 21st

June 16th 

May 19th

April 21st

March 17th

February 17th

January 20th

January 8th

 

Title

2021

Content

December 16th

November 18th

October 21st

September 23rd

September 14th

July 15th

June 17th

May 20th

April 15th

March 18th

February 23rd

January 30th Retreat

January 21st

Title

2020

Content

December 17th

November 19, 2020

October 15th

September 17th

July 16th

June 18th

May 21st

April 16th

March 19th

February 21st

January 16th

Title

2019

Content

December 19th

November 21st

October 16th

September 19th

July 18th

June 20th

May 16th

April 17th

March 21st

February 21st

January 17th

Title

2018

Content

December 20th

November 15th (Meeting Canceled)

October 25th

September 20th

July 19th

June 21st

May 15th

April 19th

March 15th

February 22nd

January 18th

Title

2017

Content

December 21st

November 16th

October 26th

September 13th

July 20th

June 15th

May 18th

April 20th

March 16th

February 15th

January 19th

Title

2016

Content

December 15th

November 17th

October 19th

September 16th

July 13th

June 16th

April 21st

March 17th

February 18th

Title

2015

Content

December 17th

November 19th

October 15th

September 17th

July 16th

June 18th

May 21st

April 16th

March 19th

February 12th

January 15th

Title

2014

Content

December 18th

November 20th

October 16th

September 18th

July 17th

Public Hearings

Title

HRC Case No. 21-12-012: Rolanda Williams v. Stephanie Knarr, LLC. Operating as Dr. Stephanie's Relationship Repair Shop

Content

Tyra Berger has dismissed her case against Stephanie Knarr, LLC operating as Dr. Stephanie's Relationship Repair Shop. The public hearing continues with Rolanda Williams. These hearing are open to the public and begin at 5:30 PM. If you'd like to attend the hearings in person, please email [email protected]

September 7, 2023 - Night 1

September 8, 2023 - Night 2

September 13, 2023 - Night 3

September 25, 2023 - Night 4

October 2, 2023 - Night 5

November 20, 2023 - Night 6

December 14, 2023 - Night 7

January 22, 2024 - Night 8

Hate Has No Place: Reporting Hate Crimes & Hate Bias Incidents

The Human Rights Commission hosted Hate Has No Place on Wednesday, November 8th at Oakland Mills Interfaith Center - The Meeting House.

This event provided an opportunity for community members to ask questions about reporting hate crimes and HBIs, learn how these reports are investigated by law enforcement, and speak to law enforcement and other critical stakeholders who investigate, report, and litigate these incidents in Howard County, MD.

Through this collaboration, we hope to build trust between the community and law enforcement and to increase the reporting rate of hate crimes and HBIs in our county.

Watch a recap of the forum, as reported by Sue Kopen Katcef on Maryland Public Television, State Circle.

Co-sponsored by: The Office of Human Rights & Equity, Howard County State's Attorney's Office, Howard County Police Department, Howard County Sheriff's Office, Howard County Police Accountability Board, Howard County Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission, Howard County NAACP, Howard County Muslim Council, and Jewish Federation of Howard County
The Human Rights Commission will host an event about Hate Bias Incidents on November 8th at 6pm at the Harriet Tubman Center.

2023 Human Rights Commission Awards

The 2023 Human Rights Commission Awards Ceremony took place on Tuesday, October 17th at the Owen Brown Interfaith Center. Thank you to everyone that attended this ceremony. The recipients of the 2023 Human Rights Commission Awards were: 

James E. Henson, Sr. & Jean W. Toomer Award: Sandy Cos
Colette Roberts Organization Award: Howard County AAPI Youth Ambassador Program Advocacy Taskforce & Ohana of Howard County
Dr. Murray Simon Student Award: Lily Peng

Please take a look at the 2023 HRC Award Ceremony's program book.  Nominations for the 2024 Awards will occur in August 2024. 

 

2023 HRC Awards

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