Webinars & Presentations
The Shadow Pandemic: Disproportionate Impacts of COVID-19 on Women
A virtual webinar facilitated by Dr. Kara Hunt of the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights, and her colleague Dr. LeTeri McFadden. Register right now and reserve your virtual seat.
Nou Pap Bliye Ayiti: We Will Never Forget Haiti
The Office of Human Rights & Equity commemorates Caribbean Heritage Month with a virtual presentation by artist, educator, and racial justice strategist, Regine Romain. She and OHRE Outreach Coordinator, Marla Moore, discuss the history of Haiti’s legacy of resistance and independence in the shadow of Juneteenth and the light of July 4th.
To learn more about Regine Romain, visit her website:
Pronouns & Policies: Combating LGBTQIA+ Discrimination in the Workplace
Asking and correctly using someone's pronouns is one of the most basic ways to show your respect for their gender identity. Unfortunately, many refuse to use a person's desired pronouns. In fact, according to the Gender Action Portal, a resource created by Harvard Kennedy School's Women and Public Policy Program, "resumes with the LGBT indicator had an employer response rate of 12% while resumes without the indicator had a response rate of 17%. In other words, employers were about 30% less likely to request an interview or further information from a woman perceived as LGBTQ compared to one perceived as heterosexual."
According to the Howard County Human Rights Law, gender identity or expression is a protected class. This means that someone cannot discriminate against you in Howard County, Maryland based on "gender-related identity or [the] appearance of an individual regardless of the individual's assigned sex at birth."
Tune in to this virtual webinar by the Howard County Office of Human Rights & Equity that took place on Tuesday, June 28, 2022 at 12:00 p.m. During this webinar attendees listened to a presentation by Dr. Juls Gilliam and a panel moderated by Yolanda F. Sonnier, Administrator of the Office of Human Rights & Equity. The purpose of this virtual webinar is to educate attendees and viewers on the discrimination those in the transgender and gender non-binary communities face. More specifically, this webinar will speak to the importance of culture and policies in the workplace that protect a person's chosen pronouns, as well as explain the ways such persons are protected when these rights are violated.
Fannie Lou Hamer: From Cotton Field to Civil Rights Crusader
A presentation about the life and legacy of Fannie Lou Hamer.
Bayard Rustin: The Brother Behind the Movement
A presentation about the life and legacy of Bayard Rustin.
A Dream Deferred: Dr. King and the Fight for Human Rights in a Nightmare
OHRE Intersectionality Webinar with Claudia M. Allen
On Wednesday, October 20th Outreach Coordinator, Claudia M. Allen, presented a virtual webinar entitled, “Intersectionality: How Embracing the Complexity of Human Diversity Fosters Equitable Environments.” If you missed this virtual lunch and learn then you definitely want to be sure to check out the replay of this presentation. Claudia speaks on the difference between equity and equality, the origins of intersectionality, and how we can use intersectionality as a tool within our organizations to ensure that the fullness of every person’s humanity is honored. As we close out Global Diversity Awareness Month, we want as many people as possible to know that intersectionality understood leads to equity applied.
Two Spirits: Native and Black American Intersectionality
In honor of Native American Heritage Month, here's a deep-diving, inspirational, and informative "Lunch & Learn" on the topic of Native American & Black American Intersectionality.
Presented by Karelle Hall of the Nanticoke Tribe.
Moderated by Claudia M. Allen, OHRE Outreach Coordinator.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service Black Health Workshop
A Candid Conversation about Black Health and Equity featuring health care professionals from Oynx Medical Society. Topics of discussion include "Depression in Black Men," "Coping in Chaos", and "Understanding Lower Back Pain."
Sponsored by Howard County Executive, Calvin Ball; Howard County Office of Human Rights and Equity, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission.
Parenting with Pride
OHRE kicks off Pride Month with a virtual panel discussion called "Parenting with Pride." Moderated by Marla Moore, panelists discuss different approaches to parenting that prioritize humanity and create a safe environment for LGBTQ+ person's to grow feeling love and belonging. If you are looking to better understand the families and children of the LGBTQ+ community, or desire perspective on how to parent your own LGBTQ+ children in such a way that honors their humanity then catch the replay of this discussion on Facebook @HoCoOHRE or the Howard County Government YouTube channel.
Teaching Human Rights & Equity
A conversation in honor of National Teacher's Day on Tuesday, May 3rd. This hour program moderated by Claudia Allen will spotlight Howard County educators who practice human rights and equity in their pedagogical approaches, curriculum, and engagement with students. We are excited to feature Dr. Denise Boston, Equity and Restorative Practices Manager in the Howard County Office of Human Rights & Equity, Randee Wilding, Chief Operating Officer in the Dock C. Bracy Center for Human Reconciliation, Erika Chavarria, Wilde Lake High School Spanish Teacher and Founder of Columbia Community Cares, and Kenny Porrit, Reach Academy Program Lead and Special Educator at Long Reach High School.
Religious Intersectionality: What the Convergence of Ramadan, Passover, and Easter can Teach Us
From April 15-17, 2022 Easter, Passover, and Ramadan converged causing Christians, Jews, and Muslims to all be in a state of fasting, prayer, or worship simultaneously. In honor of this special moment in the calendar, the Howard County Office of Human Rights & Equity held a virtual lunch and learn on Thursday, April 14th at 12:00 p.m. where clergy persons from various faith communities will speak, pray, and discuss the significance of each religious observance, what we can learn from the convergence of these observances, the value of celebrating religious diversity, and the importance of protecting religious freedom.
Until I Am Free
A virtual conversation moderated by Administrator, Yolanda F. Sonnier with Dr. Denise Boston, Claudia Allen, and Glendora Hughes, General Counsel for the Maryland Commission for Civil Rights. Discussing various women leaders who champion Civil Rights from the 1950s into the present, the various obstacles they faced, and how they overcame them.
Reducing Inequalities, Advancing Human Rights
A virtual event in honor of International Human Rights Day. Yolanda F. Sonnier, Administrator for the Howard County Office of Human Rights & Equity, moderates an important conversation with Howard County Health Department's Health Officer, Dr. Maura Rossman, Howard County State's Attorney Richard Gibson, and P-FLAG Board Secretary, Kiana Fok. Join us at 12 p.m. as we explore the ways we should reduce inequality and advance human rights here in Howard County, Maryland.
Cultural Events & Holiday Observances
2022 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Celebration and Day of Service
2022 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Celebration
Howard County Executive Calvin Ball, the Office of Human Rights & Equity, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission invite you to join us for our annual MLK Holiday Celebration. We are disappointed we cannot host this year’s celebration in person, but due to an increase in COVID cases, we desire to prioritize everyone’s health and safety. Tune in to this awesome event and listen to Wes Moore, our featured Keynote Speaker, and watch our Martin Luther King Jr Holiday Commission contest winners receive their prizes. In addition, we will honor the community leaders who have been chosen as the recipients of the Living the Dream Award.
2022 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service Black Healthcare Workshop
A Candid Conversation about Black Health and Equity featuring health care professionals from Oynx Medical Society. Topics of discussion include "Depression in Black Men," "Coping in Chaos", and "Understanding Lower Back Pain." Sponsored by Howard County Executive, Calvin Ball; Howard County Office of Human Rights and Equity, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission.
2021 Annual Kwanzaa Celebration
Kwanzaa is an African American holiday celebrated December 26th - January 1st that highlights the principles of Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work & Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity, and Faith. This year we heard inspiring words and watched beautiful performances from Yolanda F. Sonnier, Willie Flowers, K. Earl Owens, Paul Thompson, County Executive Calvin Ball, Dr. Denise Boston, Claudia M. Allen, Zhion Perkins, Allen Dixon, Kurt Wall, Marla Moore, Janssen Evelyn, Denée Barr, and Celebration Church Liturgical Dance Ministry.
Indigenous Peoples' Day with Edgar Silex and Claudia M. Allen
On October 11, 2021, Indigenous Peoples' Day, Outreach Coordinator, Claudia M. Allen, and Edgar Silex, celebrated poet and storyteller, shared a lively discussion that explored the differences between Indigenous and Native people, the beauty of Indigenous history, language, and culture, and the importance of connecting to and preserving our ancestral roots.
Howard County Native American Heritage Month Celebration 2021
Presented by the Howard County Library System, Howard County Office of the County Executive, Howard County Office of Human Rights & Equity, and Nava Be Diné. Featuring: Opening Song-Lance Fisher (Northern Cheyenne) & Shawn Iron Maker (Fort Belknap) Native Kids of HoCo-Galarza Kids (Sioux) Angela Miracle Gladue (Cree)- Hoop Dance Native Kids of HoCo-Auld Brothers (Navajo/Pamunkey) Lance Fisher (Northern Cheyenne) & Shawn Iron Maker (Fort Belknap) Opening Remarks-Tonya Aikens, Ani Begay Auld (Navajo); Angela Cabellon; Dr. Denise Boston, Jourdan Bennett-Begaye (Navajo) Chris Eaglehawk (Taos Pueblo/Oglala Lakota)-Traditional Dancing Native Kids of HoCo-Eaton Brothers (Navajo) Sonny Elm (Oneida Nation of Wisconsin and Comanche Nation)-Smoke Dance Karelle Hall (Nanticoke)-Nanticoke Toe Dance Rose Powhatan (Pamunkey)- Storytelling Carole Lindstrom (Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe)- We Are Water Protectors
County Executive Calvin Ball Announces Proposal to Create a Permanent LGBTQIA+ Commission
We are excited to announce a great day for equity and justice in Howard County!
Today, Yolanda F. Sonnier, OHRE Administrator, served as Mistress of Ceremonies as Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced a proposal to create a permanent LGBTQIA+ Commission for Howard County.
There were inspiring remarks from the Honorable Byron E. McFarlane, Register of Wills; Bob Ford, a Member of Howard County's Human Rights Commission & a former member of the LGBTQ+ Workgroup; Jumel Howard Chapter President of the PFLAG Columbia-Howard County, MD and a former member of the LGBTQ+ Workgroup and community member, Becki Weiss Vivertte.