The Arlington Human Rights Commission (AHRC) was created by the Arlington, Massachusetts, Town Meeting in 1993 (by-law II, article 9) to advance issues related to the fair and equal treatment of individuals and to create a mechanism for addressing complaints arising out of these issues.
AHRC's mission is to work individually and collaboratively with other groups in our community to celebrate the ever-changing tapestry of our Town, to emphasize through educational outreach the danger of intolerance at every level, and to advance issues related to the fair and equal treatment of individuals.
The goal of the Commission is to bring about the elimination of prejudice, intolerance, and bigotry, unlawful discrimination, threats, coercion, or intimidation based upon an individual’s:
- Religious views
- National origin
- Gender identity or expression
- Family/marital status
- Sexual orientation
- Source of income
- Military status
The Commission consists of 13 Arlington residents, appointed by the Town Manger, the School Committee and the Town Moderator. Each of the commissioners serves a voluntary three-year term.
The commission works to reach its goal by:
- Educating the Arlington community through programs that increase mutual respect and appreciation of diversity
- Improving the quality of life in the Town by enlisting community-based groups in educational programs that promote tolerance and the peaceful enjoyment of life in our community
- Working with Town government, the school department, town commissions and boards to promote diversity
- Responding to complaints by persons in the Town who believe that their human rights have been violated
- Initiating investigation where unlawful discrimination may have occurred and attempting to resolve these issues
The Arlington Human Rights Commission can help you in the following ways:
- Provide resources
- Receive and investigate complaints
- Mediate disputes and try to reach an informal resolution
- Provide information about other organizations that may assist you
AHRC meets on the third Wednesday of each month, except during months when Town Meeting is in session (typically end of April through June). Meetings are held at the Jefferson Cutter House, 611 Massachusetts Ave, in lower level conference room. Check the town calendar for meeting dates. The Arlington town website contains our minutes and agendas.