Arlington Human Rights Commission

The AHRC strives to ensure the fair and equal treatment for all people who live, work and pass through our community.

Emailahrc@town.arlington.ma.us

Phone: 781-316-3250

By Mail: 27 Maple Street

Arlington, MA 02476

© 2019 by Arlington Human Rights Commission. All Rights Reserved.

Our History

 

Founded in 1993, the Arlington Human Rights Commission (AHRC) exists to advance issues related to the fair and equal treatment of Town residents and to address complaints arising out of these issues. Central to the AHRC's mission is to work collaboratively with other Arlington community groups to celebrate the ever-changing makeup of our Town, to emphasize through educational outreach the dangers of intolerance, and to encourage and bring about mutual understanding and respect among all people within the Town.

 

AHRC focuses on eliminating prejudice, intolerance, bigotry, unlawful discrimination, threats, coercion, and intimidation on the basis of an individual’s race, ethnicity, color, religious views, national origin, sex, gender identity or expression, citizenship, age, ancestry, family/marital status, sexual orientation, disability, source of income, and military status. The commission strives to reach these goals by: educating the Arlington community through programs that celebrate diversity; working with Town government, the school department, town commissions and boards to promote tolerance, mutual respect, and the peaceful enjoyment of life in our community; responding to complaints by Town residents who believe that their human rights have been violated; initiating investigations where unlawful discrimination may have occurred; and offering resolutions to conflicts between Town residents.

Take a look back at some of our activities and events over the past years.

2012-2014
  • regular monthly meetings

  • sponsor of Martin Luther King, Jr.birthday celebration

  • Town Day participant

  • received/investigated complaints

  • encouraged and received public comments/concerns at AHRC meetings

  • updated AHRC website

  • established AHRC on Facebook

  • supported Council on Aging’s “True Story Theatre”

  • continued the liaison program with school principals and with the METCO Director

  • presented the Bill Shea Everyday Hero Award

  • donated books on diversity in honor of Bill Shea to the Thompson School library

  • donated books on gender equality to Robbins Library in honor of Nancy Sweeney

  • celebrated the 10th anniversary celebration of gay marriage with presentations by two couples

  • reestablished relationship with Massachusetts Association of Human Rights Commissions

  • celebrated the 20th anniversary of AHRC

  • supported a weekend retreat for high school students on issues of racism and identity

  • purchased Miss Representation film and related materials

  • met with Town Manager to discuss diversity concerns

  • Hate crimes/incidents monitoring

  • worked with Police Dept. on data collection

  • regular meetings with school personnel to discuss polices & curriculum promoting tolerance and diversity

2010-2011
  • regular monthly meetings

  • sponsor of Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration

  • Town Day participant

  • received/investigated complaints

  • encouraged and received public comments/concerns at AHRC meetings

  • sponsored non-violence training session for the community

  • sponsored a meeting of Town groups concerned with diversity & inclusion issues to better coordinate their activities

  • provided liaisons to the Middle School’s Building Respect Task Force and to the Superintendent’s Diversity Task Group

  • provided mediation and guidance resources to the Police Dept.

  • established a liaison program with school principals and with the METCO Director

  • attended meetings in Boston with METCO parents

  • consulted with Special Education Parents Advisory Committee

  • attended meetings to develop policy on bullying

  • maintained working partnership with the Arlington Police Dept

  • co-sponsored a Civil Discourse Program for Town officials 

  • chaired the Response Coordination Team

  • Hate crimes/incidents monitoring

  • worked with Police Dept. on data collection

  • regular meetings with school personnel to discuss polices & curriculum promoting tolerance and diversity

2008-2009
  • regular monthly meetings

  • sponsor of Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration

  • Town Day participant

  • received/investigated complaints

  • encouraged and received public comments/concerns at AHRC meetings

  • Hate crimes/incidents monitoring

  • worked with Police Dept. on data collection

  • regular meetings with school personnel to discuss polices & curriculum promoting tolerance and diversity

2006-2007
  • regular monthly meetings

  • sponsor of Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration

  • Town Day participant 

  • received/investigated complaints

  • encouraged and received public comments/concerns at AHRC meetings

  • maintained working partnership with the Arlington Police Dept.

  • Hate crimes/incidents monitoring

  • worked with Police Dept. on data collection

  • regular meetings with school personnel to discuss polices & curriculum promoting tolerance and diversity

2004-2005
  • regular monthly meetings

  • sponsor of Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration

  • Town Day participant

  • 3 Arlington Dialogues (subjects:  Special  Education, book discussion by Janis Kearney
    of her Cotton Field of Dreams, and Racial Profiling post 9/11 )

  • received/investigated complaints, especially re racist graffiti

  • encouraged and received public comments/concerns at AHRC meetings

  • published a pamphlet on Public Accommodation Law for Arlington Businesses

  • met with Chip Berlet re actions to combat racist graffiti

  • met with Police Chief re racial profiling and other issues

  • maintained working partnership with the Arlington Police Dept.

  • Hate crimes/incidents monitoring

  • worked with Police Dept. on data collection

  • regular meetings with school personnel to discuss polices & curriculum  promoting tolerance and diversity

2002-2003
  • regular monthly meetings

  • sponsor of Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration

  • Town Day participant

  • Arlington Dialogues (subject:  USA Patriot Act) 

  • received/investigated complaints, especially dealing with discrimination and harassment issues

  • AHRC 10th Anniversary Celebration (activities:  hosted reception for town officials
    and community groups & sponsored a Town Hall event with speakers on human/civil rights)

  • hosted book discussion of Andrew Zantar’s Have No Fear

  • sponsored a “Career Day” at the Middle School

  • supported Mass. Court decision on gay marriage right (including articles of support in the Arlington Advocate) 

  • maintained working partnership with the Arlington Police Dept.

  • Hate crimes/incidents monitoring

  • worked with Police Dept. on data collection

  • regular meetings with school personnel to discuss polices & curriculum promoting tolerance and diversity 

2000-2001
  • regular monthly meetings

  • sponsor of Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration

  • Town Day participant

  • 3 Arlington Dialogues (subjects: Affirmative Action, Racial Profiling, Bullying and Harassment)

  • received/investigated complaints

  • sponsored Facing History & Ourselves workshop

  • supported Sudanese Lost Boys Project

  • examined issue of discrimination against homosexuals in the Boy Scouts of America and local BSA chartering agreements

  • maintained working partnership with the Arlington Police Dept.

  • sponsored evening with Prof. Henry Lewis Gates reading from his memoir, Colored People

  • Hate crimes/incidents monitoring

  • worked with Police Dept. on data collection

  • regular meetings with school personnel to discuss polices & curriculum promoting tolerance and diversity 

1998-1999
  • regular monthly meetings

  • sponsor of Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration

  • Town Day participant

  • Arlington Dialogues (subject:  being a minority in Arlington)

  • received/investigated complaints

  • contributed films to Arlington High School Media Dept.

  • contracted with MCAD to investigate Arlington cases filed with MCAD

  • sponsored Town’s Winter Celebration

  • Hate crimes/incidents monitoring

  • met with new Police Chief

  • worked with Police Dept. on data collection

  • regular meetings with school personnel to discuss polices & curriculum promoting tolerance and diversity and minority recruitment of teachers 

  • met with Town’s Personnel Director & with Chair of Safer Schools Task Force

1996-1997
  • regular monthly meetings

  • sponsor of Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration

  • Town Day participant

  • secured staffing from the Town

  • received/investigated complaints

  • attended State Hate Crimes conference

  • met with Empowering Cultural Diversity & Anti-Defamation League representatives

  • sponsored diversity awareness curriculum pilot program at Pierce School

  • attended MCAD training sessions

  • contracted with MCAD to investigate Arlington cases filed with MCAD

  • sponsored Town’s Winter Celebration

  • Hate crimes/incidents monitoring

  • worked with Police Dept. on data collection

  • regular meetings with school personnel to discuss polices & curriculum promoting tolerance and diversity, especially in teacher recruitment

  • held Strategic Planning Session for Commissioners

1994-1995
  • regular monthly meetings

  • sponsor of Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration

  • Town Day participant

  • obtained Town funding support

  • received/investigated complaints

  • offered mediation services

  • sought grant for pilot program in elementary schools on issues of disability discrimination

  • supported hiring guidelines to increase female participation in Town funded projects

2011-2012
  • regular monthly meetings

  • sponsor of Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration

  • Town Day participant

  • received/investigated complaints

  • encouraged and received public comments/concerns at AHRC meetings

  • provided liaisons to the Middle School’s Building Respect Task Force and to the Superintendent’s Diversity Task Group

  • co-sponsored event/film on LGBT discrimination issues re older people

  • continued the liaison program with school principals and with the METCO Director

  • awarded Everyday Hero Award to Ottoson’s “Building Respect Task Force” and “Friends of the Gay/Straight Alliance”  

  • chaired the Response Coordination Team

  • Hate crimes/incidents monitoring

  • worked with Police Dept. on data collection

  • regular meetings with school personnel to discuss polices & curriculum promoting tolerance and diversity

2009-2010
  • regular monthly meetings

  • sponsor of Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration

  • Town Day participant

  • received/investigated complaints

  • encouraged and received public comments/concerns at AHRC meetings

  • 2 Arlington Dialogues (subjects:  The Fine Line Between Church & State and “Freedom Writers”)

  • hosted 3 events in “Stand against Racism” project

  • helped support “Community Conversation about Race” with Rep. Jay Kaufman

  • held a public rally in support of further tolerance

  • addressed issues re dating violence and bullying (with the Police Dept. and the School Committee)

  • maintained working partnership with the Arlington Police Dept, especially on a response to a possible visit by an extreme white-supremacy group to Arlington

  • co-sponsored a Civil Discourse Program for Town officials

  • Hate crimes/incidents monitoring

  • worked with Police Dept. on data collection

  • regular meetings with school personnel to discuss polices & curriculum promoting tolerance and diversity

2007-2008
  • regular monthly meetings

  • sponsor of Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration

  • Town Day participant

  • 3 Arlington Dialogues (subjects:  Racial & Ethnic Disparities in Health Care, Armenian Genocide, & Bullying) 

  • received/investigated complaints

  • encouraged and received public comments/concerns at AHRC meetings

  • maintained working partnership with the Arlington Police Dept.

  • Hate crimes/incidents monitoring

  • worked with Police Dept. on data collection

  • regular meetings with school personnel to discuss polices & curriculum promoting tolerance and diversity

2005-2006
  • regular monthly meetings

  • sponsor of Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration

  • Town Day participant

  • 3 Arlington Dialogues (subjects:  David Gumpert on Holocaust history, Michelle Deakin on Gay Marriage, and Alan Greenfield on Genocide in Darfur)
    -presented first “Everyday Hero Award” to Kate Cremens-Basbas

  • hosted meeting with local churches/synagogues to create a Campaign for Understanding 

  • received/investigated complaints

  • encouraged and received public comments/concerns at AHRC meetings

  • met with Selectmen re graffiti issues

  • supported Arlington-Teosinte Sister City Project

  • met with Police Chief re racial profiling and other issues

  • maintained working partnership with the Arlington Police Dept.

  • Hate crimes/incidents monitoring

  • worked with Police Dept. on data collection

  • regular meetings with school personnel to discuss polices & curriculum promoting tolerance and diversity

2003-2004
  • regular monthly meetings

  • sponsor of Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration

  • Town Day participant

  • 2 Arlington Dialogues (subjects:  Gay Marriage & Meet the Candidates—views on human rights)

  • received/investigated complaints

  • published article in Arlington Advocate on Arlington couples affected by gay marriage 
    decision

  • supported school programs

  • met with Town’s METCO director & attended meeting of Arlington METCO parents

  • met with Police Chief re distribution of hate literature & racial profiling issues

  • maintained working partnership with the Arlington Police Dept.

  • Hate crimes/incidents monitoring

  • worked with Police Dept. on data collection

  • regular meetings with school personnel to discuss polices & curriculum promoting tolerance and diversity

  • provided information about AHRC & a questionnaire in the Town Census mailing 

2001-2002
  • regular monthly meetings

  • sponsor of Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration

  • Town Day participant

  • 2 Arlington Dialogues (subjects:  Bias in Children’s Media & Parenting Children in a Violent World) 

  • received/investigated complaints, especially sexual orientation harassment issues—organized a community meeting on the issue

  • supported Facing History & Ourselves workshop

  • maintained working partnership with the Arlington Police Dept.

  • Hate crimes/incidents monitoring

  • worked with Police Dept. on data collection

  • regular meetings with school personnel to discuss polices & curriculum promoting tolerance and diversity 

1999-2000
  • regular monthly meetings

  • sponsor of Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration

  • Town Day participant

  • 2 Arlington Dialogues (subjects:  Gay/Lesbian issues & Affordable Housing)

  • received/investigated complaints

  • sponsored Nessie Godin’s talk in Town Hall on Remembering the Holocaust)

  • maintained working partnership with the Arlington Police Dept.

  • sponsored book discussion group and Interactive dialogues on race and sexism

  • Hate crimes/incidents monitoring

  • worked with Police Dept. on data collection

  • regular meetings with school personnel to discuss polices & curriculum promoting tolerance and diversity 

1997-1998
  • regular monthly meetings

  • sponsor of Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration

  • Town Day participant

  • Arlington Dialogues initiated (educ. & informative public forums)

  • received/investigated complaints

  • published & distributed brochure on AHRC & its powers and purposes

  • published brochure to assist victims of Hate Crimes

  • sponsored teacher training and implementation of Facing History & Ourselves in Middle School

  • sought wider outreach through cable TV

  • renewed contract with MCAD to investigate Arlington cases filed with MCAD

  • sponsored Town’s Winter Celebration

  • Hate crimes/incidents monitoring

  • worked with Police Dept. on data collection

  • regular meetings with school personnel to discuss polices & curriculum promoting tolerance and diversity 

  • met with Town’s Personnel Director & with Chair of Safer Schools Task Force

1995-1996
  • regular monthly meetings

  • sponsor of Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration

  • Town Day participant

  • secured staffing from the Town

  • received/investigated complaints

  • met with Somerville Human Rights Commission

  • met with Arlington Vision 2020 Task Group

  • hosted meeting of Mass. Assoc. of Human Rights Commissions

  • sponsored diversity awareness curriculum pilot program at Pierce School

  • supported successful warrant article to increase female employment in Town financed projects

  • attended MCAD orientation conference

  • contracted with MCAD to investigate Arlington cases filed with MCAD

  • co-sponsored Town’s Winter Celebration

  • Hate crimes/incidents monitoring

  • workshops on diversity and race held for Commissioners

  • regular meetings with school personnel to discuss polices & curriculum promoting tolerance and diversity

1993-1994
  • regular monthly meetings

  • sponsor of Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration

  • Town Day participant

  • established relationship with MCAD

  • received/investigated complaints

  • established relationships with local media outlets, school administrators, Affirmative Action Advisory Comm., and law enforcement personnel

  • sponsored panel discussion on diversity in the public schools