Human Relations

Vision Statement
It is our vision to end discrimination in any form and our goal to instill mutual respect and civility among all people and to make Durham into a model community for our state, nation and world.

Mission Statement
To improve race and human relations in the City of Durham by:

  • Working to eliminate discrimination in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodations
  • Prioritize community outreach and educational activities to meet the needs of our citizens
The Durham City Council created the Durham Human Relations Commission on October 7, 1968 during a time of much racial strife in the city between its white and black residents. The primary responsibilities of the 15-member board involved working to eradicate discrimination and to develop an atmosphere in the city conducive to good human relations. The commission worked with the department to achieve these objectives. Over the years the commission’s membership has changed to reflect a more diverse body that represents the entire city. Throughout its existence, the commission and the department have provided human relations forums, workshops, conferences and other activities with 1 goal in mind: To improve human relations among the people of Durham.

The following are the major programs that the office/commission are responsible for developing, implementing, enforcing compliance and monitoring.

Case Processing & Investigations
Human Relations is responsible for enforcing the City Fair Housing Ordinance and federal fair housing laws and receives funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, HUD, to investigate cases of housing discrimination for properties that are within the Durham city limits. The office has been certified by HUD. Human Relations provides intake and investigation of fair housing complaints.

Education & Outreach
Human Relations is responsible for providing fair housing education, outreach, and training on the City of Durham Fair Housing Ordinance, federal fair housing laws and related civil rights issues.

Community Relations
The Community Relations Program works with community groups, businesses, governmental agencies, schools and other groups to enhance their understanding of racial and cultural relations in order to create a greater level of harmony within the Durham community.

City Employees Named LGBT Liaisons To The City Executive
Durham City Manager Tom Bonfield has named Durham resident Risa Foster, Stacey Poston of General Services and Police Captain Brian Reitz as LGBT liaisons to the City Executive. Bonfield said the trio’s duties as liaisons will include serving as a resource to the City Manager and for the public to convey concerns of the LGBT community. Naming the liaisons will help the City get credit in the Municipal Equality Index, which examines laws, policies and services of municipalities. Contact information for liaisons are listed below:

Phone: 919-560-8814

Poston, Stacey 

Phone: 919-560-4197, ext. 21254

Reitz, Brian (Captain) 
Phone: 919-560-4935, ext. 29403