Human Relations Commission
- 7 p.m.
- 1st Tuesday of Each Month
- Golden Belt Office Center
807 E Main Street
Building 2, 3rd Floor Conference Room
Durham, NC, 27701.
The commission shall consist of 17 members. Sixteen members shall be appointed by council. One member shall be appointed by the mayor. Such persons shall be citizens and residents of the city. The goal is that these 17 voting members represent the diverse social, economic, gender, sexual orientation, ability, religious affiliations, and racial and ethnic composition of the city. To assist the council in achieving this goal, the commission shall proactively encourage applicants of diverse backgrounds to apply to serve on the commission.
The recommended commission membership shall consist of six Black/African-Americans, six White/European Americans, two Hispanic/Latino Americans, and two members from a racial/ethnic group not represented by the preceding racial/ethnic categories. The mayor’s appointee shall be from any racial/ethnic category. Both genders shall be equally represented, but neither by more than 53 percent.
Members serve without compensation.
- Phil Seib, Commission Chair
- Ashley Taylor-Jacobs, Commission Vice Chair
- Felicia Arriaga
- Susan Austin
- Mikel Barton
- Nicholas Coleman
- Richardo Correa
- Richard Ford
- Risa Foster
- Franklin Hanes
- Ricky Hart
- Yolanda Keith
- Ian Kipp
- Girija Mahajan
- Geraldine Robinson
- Diane Standaert
- Sejal Zota
Throughout its existence, the Durham Human Relations Commission has provided forums, workshops, conferences, 1-on-1 interventions, and other activities with 1 goal in mind: To improve human relations among the people of Durham. The commission has the following powers and duties in order to carry out the general intent and purpose of the ordinance:
- To act as a public forum in hearing complaints involving racial tension, to bring together the parties involved to discuss the facts and to assist in the resolution of such complaints.
- To receive complaints, via the Human Relations office, alleging discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, familial status, or handicap. The department staff will investigate, mediate and conciliate all complaints.
- To develop an atmosphere conducive to the best possible human relations, to conduct studies, suggest areas of concern and recommend any action to the city council that the commission feels is necessary and may be lawfully taken to minimize areas of conflict and to promote harmonious relations.
- To provide open channels of useful communications among the various racial, religious, ethnic and economic groups in the city and between those groups and the city council so that misunderstandings and wide differences leading to conflict may be ameliorated.
- To do research, obtain factual data, hold meetings with citizens and consider and recommend the best and fairest means of progressively improving human relations among all citizens of the city.
- To institute and conduct educational programs that promote fairness and courtesy in dealing with people of all racial, religious, ethnic, economic backgrounds and status and that promote equal treatment, equal opportunity and mutual understanding and respect for all citizens.
- To render at least annually a written report to the City Council.
- To promote equitable and proportionate representation of all traditionally under-represented groups on public boards and agencies in the city.