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Human Rights Commission
Agendas & Minutes
Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are available following approval. View Most Recent Agendas and Minutes
- Stephen Leary, Chair
- Tien Do-suarez, Vice Chair
- Reena Patel
- Tim Miller-Dempsey
- Ruth Bennett
- Lt.John Marquardt
- Ava Lydotes
- Ardith Wieworka
- Sara Smithson
- Christine Griffin
- Kelly Peguero
- John Bradley
- Stephanie Gertz
The purpose of the Human Rights Commission is to advise the Hingham Select Board on how to ensure that the town of Hingham supports diversity and equity while fostering inclusion and belonging for every member of the community. The Commission will make recommendations to the Hingham Select Board on programs and policies that will help identify conscious and unconscious biases, and prejudices. The commission will work to identify and reject discrimination based on race, class, gender, sexuality, language, citizenship status, disability, age, and religious/non-religious identities.
Creation, Purpose & Charge
The following commission is hereby created as an advisory body to the Select Board:
Section 1. Purpose
There is hereby established an advisory body to the Select Board to be known as the "Human Rights Commission of the Town of Hingham" (hereinafter referred to as the "Commission").
The establishment of the Commission represents the Town of Hingham’s commitment to support the rights of all persons in Hingham to enjoy the free and equal exercise of their rights and privileges as secured by the Constitution and Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and of the United States and to promote diversity, equity and inclusion within the Town of Hingham.
Section 2. Composition
The Commission shall consist of 13 members.
All members shall be appointed by the Select Board as follows:
Town Government Representatives
- One member recommended by the Chief of Police from the Hingham Police Department;
- One member recommended by the School Committee from the Hingham Public Schools;
- One member recommended by the Council on Aging;
- One member recommended by the Commission on Disabilities;
- One member recommended by the Affordable Housing Trust;
- One member recommended by the Housing Authority; and
- One member recommended by the Recreation Commission.
If any of the above boards and/or officials fails to make a recommendation within thirty days of the establishment of the Commission, or thereafter within thirty days of a vacancy in said position, then the Select Board shall make the appointment on its own. If the Select Board determines not to appoint the recommended candidate it shall so notify the board and/or official responsible for the recommendation who shall then submit a new recommendation until such time as the vacancy is filled.
One member shall be a Hingham resident who is a high school student recommended by the School Committee and appointed by the Select Board; and
Five at-large members who are Hingham residents appointed by the Select Board.
The members who are Town government representatives shall be appointed for terms of three years, and, if an employee of the Town, for such shorter period as they hold their underlying position, and may serve no more than two consecutive terms, excluding partial terms to fill a vacancy.
The high school member shall be appointed for a term of one year.
The at-large members shall be appointed initially as follows and thereafter for terms of three years: two for a three-year term, two for a two-year term, and one for a one-year term. No at-large member of the Commission may be appointed to serve for more than two consecutive terms, excluding partial terms to fill a vacancy
Any vacancy that occurs other than by the expiration of a term shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term by a vote of the Select Board.
The members of the Commission shall serve without compensation.
To the extent feasible, the members of the Commission should have relevant experience in human rights, including issues pertaining to diversity, equity and inclusion and should represent diverse groups within the Town of Hingham, including but not limited to race, color, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, religion, marital, family or military or veteran status, socio-economic status, ex-offender status or disability status. Appointment to the Commission, however, is at the Select Board’s sole discretion.
Section 3. Procedures
The Chair and Vice Chair of the Commission shall be chosen by the Select Board. The Commission shall meet upon its creation, and thereafter each January, to organize and decide on a preliminary calendar of meetings for the year and said calendar is to be posted on the Town of Hingham website in accordance with the Open Meeting Law. The Commission shall meet at least ten times per calendar year. A majority of members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum, and a majority of those present and voting shall be sufficient for any action taken by the Commission, unless otherwise required by law.
The Commission’s meetings shall be governed by the requirements of the Open Meeting Law (M.G.L. c. 30A, § 18 -25) and its records shall be governed by the Public Records Law (M.G.L. c. 66, § 10).
Section 4. Duties
The Commission shall have the following charge and responsibilities:
A. Develop opportunities to build community awareness concerning human rights, including, but not limited to, diversity, equity and inclusion within the Town of Hingham and beyond, through educational programs, summits, panels, celebrations and other community events.
B. Develop programs and initiatives and provide community resources to promote human rights, including, but not limited to, diversity, equity, and inclusion within the Town of Hingham.
C. Annually, and more often as may be requested by the Select Board, provide written or verbal reports to the Select Board on Commission activities.
Black History Month
Resources, Lessons, and Articles
Learning for Justice - Black History Month: Teaching the Complete History
Learning for Justice - Black History Month Teaching: Miseducation or Empowerment?
We Teach NYC - Black History, Black Joy, Black Brilliance
The Brown Bookshelf - 30 Books for Your Readers that Celebrate Black Joy
National Education Association - Black History Month Lessons & Resources
PBS Kids For Parents - Celebrating Black Leaders
PBS Kids for Parents - 7 Easy and Inspiring Activities to Celebrate Black History Month
Global Citizen - Kids Explain Black History Month (Video)
Books on Video
CSUF Future Titans Read - The ABCs of Black History (Video - Children's Book Read Aloud)
Museum of African American History, Boston - Abiel Smith School
Hingham Unity Council - Hingham's Black History
Museum of Fine Arts Boston - Pictorial Quilt
Embrace Boston Memorial Monument
American Psychological Association - Talking to Kids About Discrimination
Edutopia - Teaching Young Children About Bias, Diversity, and Social Justice
New York Times - Why We're Capitalizing the B in Black
Chicago Tribune - Language matters: The shift from ‘slave’ to ‘enslaved person’ may be difficult, but it’s important
Medium: Human Parts - Why We Must Stop Referring to Enslaved People as ‘Slaves’
Telfair Museums - Why We Use "Enslaved"
Choices Program, Brown University - Why should we use the term “enslaved people” instead of “slaves”?