Why a human rights commission?

A Human Rights Commission advises and assists the city by establishing and promoting a community standard of equity and freedom from discrimination.

Community leadership, especially elected officials, should be accountable for decisions. A Human Rights Commission fights for a goal where all people are welcomed, valued, and respected. In other words, a community where each person feels at home.

A commission is important (as opposed to a task force or a committee) because it becomes a formal component to local government decisions. It cannot be disbanded without an official vote and public hearing. The accountability means the impact is greater and more protected.

Moreover, a Human Rights Commission is clear and purposeful. A committee on community engagement or an inclusivity task force can be misunderstood. The needs of citizens can fall through the cracks if the objectives are too vague.


A tool box of strategies to help you establish a Human Rights Commission in your town. All of these resources are in PDF and free to use. If you would like editable copies that you can customize to your specific town, community, and situation you can purchase Word documents, "Toolkit."

You can spend time copying, pasting, and formatting or just support our work and buy the Toolkit. The Toolkit can be downloaded now and is available for only $20.

Table of Contents:

Gather your people
Get organized
Who are your community leaders?
Contact your local political parties
Worksheet to craft your mission statement and have solid answers ready when people ask
Ask for what you want
Research your local leadership
Introduction letter or email to your local officials
What to say if/when you meet with them
How to follow up
Social Media Campaigning
Effective posts you can copy and paste
Tips to make your posts relevant to people
Letters to the Editor
Letters you can use to strengthen your case for a Human Rights Commission in your own town.
How to get the most amount of attention with your letters.
Who should write them and how often.
Community Petition
Paper versus electronic?
Door to door strategies
A clipboard, a table, and a sign
Public Relations
Get press coverage
Share celebrations big and small
Give credit where credit is due
Field Notes
More resources