INDIANA COUNTY ADVISORY COUNCIL TO FIGHT DISCRIMINATION | #students | #parents

An Indiana County advisory council to the Pennsylvania Human Resources Commission is being formed, and its organizers say it has the endorsement of Indiana Borough Council, Commissioner Sherene Hess, and State representative Jim Struzzi.

 

Advisory councils are composed of 8 to 24 community members who are committed to helping achieve the goals of the PHRC.  While the councils are not government entities, they function as serve in an advisory capacity to help eliminate discrimination and assist the PHRC in determining issues of equal opportunity for employment, housing, public accommodations, and education.

 

Indiana Borough Council vice president Gerald Smith said in a news release that the borough began looking at an advisory council “as a resource for residents who felt they were discriminated against because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.”

 

Guided by the PHRC, advisory councils typically conduct local workshops, forums, conferences, and community meetings.  They also refer directly to the PHRC all complaints about discrimination.

 

If you’re interested in joining the council, the deadline to apply is August 31st.  The PHRC chooses advisory council members.

 

HERE IS THE NEWS RELEASE REGARDING THE FORMATION OF THE INDIANA COUNTY ADVISORY COUNCIL

 

 Local, county, and state elected officials endorse creation of advisory council to state civil rights commission

 

7/14/20 – Indiana Borough Council, Indiana County Commissioner Sherene Hess, and PA State Representative Struzzi are endorsing the formation of a local advisory council to the Pennsylvania Human Resources Commission (PHRC).

 

An advisory council is created by the PHRC and is composed of nonpartisan and nonpolitical individual community members who serve without compensation in an advisory capacity to the PHRC to

  • Assist the public in the practice of equal opportunity through the elimination of discrimination as defined in the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.
  • Assist the PHRC in ascertaining the extent to which equal opportunities are available in the community for employment, housing, public accommodations, and education and to look for new such opportunities.
  • Increase citizen awareness of the existence and purposes of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.

“Indiana Borough began looking to the PHRC as a resource for residents who felt they were discriminated against because of their gender identity or sexual orientation,” said Indiana Borough Vice President Gerald Smith. “This Indiana County Advisory Council will be an independent body, convened by the PHRC. I believe this will help our residents understand their civil rights and provide a direct line to legal resources if they feel those rights have been violated.”

 

The PHRC is empowered to create advisory councils to assist the Commission in achieving its purpose of addressing and eliminating discrimination against individuals or groups by reason of their race, color, familial status, religious creed, ancestry, age, sex, national origin, handicap or disability, or use of guide or support animals because of the blindness, deafness, or physical handicap of the user or because the user is a handler or trainer of support or guide through the denial of equal employment, housing, or public accommodations.

 

“While this PHRC advisory council is not a governmental organization, we are facilitating its creation as part of our commitment to making Indiana a welcoming community,” said Peter Broad, Indiana Borough President. “The recent rallies and discussions about racism in our community brings home the importance of this anti-discrimination organization dealing with all forms of discrimination.”

PHRC advisory councils assist the PHRC by conducting local workshops, forums, conferences, and meetings, either alone or in cooperation with other community groups when such sponsorship is authorized by the Commission, and  plan and conduct local action projects based on Commission-authorized programs. Local councils promptly refer to the PHRC all complaints brought to the attention of an advisory council involving an aggrieved person and arising from specific instances of discrimination in the fields of employment, education, housing, or public accommodations.

Advisory councils are composed of 8-24 community members who are committed to helping achieve the goals of the PHRC. All interested residents of Indiana County are eligible and can apply by sending a letter of interest by mail or email to the PHRC. Letters should be addressed to

Carl H. Summerson

PA Human Relations Commission

333 Market St., 8th Floor

Harrisburg, PA 17101,

csummerson@pa.gov

Advisory council members will be selected by the PHRC. There is no significant travel commitment, and it is expected that the advisory council will hold meetings and events in the greater Indiana area.

Letters of interest will be accepted through August 31, 2020.

 

 

MORE INFORMATION:

INDIANA IS LOOKING FOR CANDIDATES
TO SERVE ON THE
INDIANA ADVISORY COUNCIL
TO THE PENNSYLVANIA HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION

WHAT?
An advisory council is created by the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) and is composed of nonpartisan and nonpolitical individual community members who serve without compensation in an advisory capacity to the PHRC to:
• Assist the public in the practice of equal opportunity through the elimination of discrimination as defined in the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.
• Assist the PHRC in ascertaining the extent to which equal opportunities are available in the community for employment, housing, public accommodations, and education and to look for new such opportunities.
• Increase citizen awareness of the existence and purposes of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act.

WHY?
The PHRC is empowered to create advisory councils to assist the Commission in achieving its purpose of addressing and eliminating discrimination against individuals or groups by reason of their race, color, familial status, religious creed, ancestry, age, sex, national origin, handicap or disability, use of guide or support animals because of the blindness, deafness, or physical handicap of the user or because the user is a handler or trainer of support or guide through the denial of equal employment, housing, or public accommodations. See 43 P.S. §952.

HOW?
The PHRC has the authority to create advisory councils to
• Educate and assist the PHRC by conducting workshops, forums, conferences, and meetings, either alone or in cooperation with other community groups when such sponsorship is authorized by the Commission, and to plan and conduct local action projects based on Commission-authorized programs.
• Promptly refer to the PHRC all complaints brought to the attention of an advisory council involving an aggrieved person and arising from specific instances of discrimination in the fields of employment, education, housing, or public accommodations.

WHERE?
The greater Indiana area is a prime location for an advisory council. It is between the PHRC offices in Pittsburgh and Harrisburg and can serve the communities surrounding Indiana Borough in Indiana County as well as the diverse student population. There is no significant travel commitment, and it is expected that the advisory council will hold meetings and events in the greater Indiana area.

WHEN?
Letters of interest can be sent by mail or email to the PHRC,
Carl H. Summerson Pa. Human Relations Commission 333 Market Street, 8th Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17101 717-783-8276 csummerson@pa.gov Letters of interest will be accepted through August 31st, 2020.

This project is endorsed by:
Indiana Borough, Indiana County Commissioner Sherene Hess, PA State Representative Jim Struzzi.


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