Human Rights Commission

Regular Meetings

  • 6 p.m.
  • 2nd Monday of every month

Members

  • Judith Fernandes
    Phone: 978-726-3261
    Email Judith Fernandes
  • Reverend Victor Jarvis
  • Annia Lambert
    Phone: 978-885-0202
  • Susan Santos
    Phone: 978-390-0811
  • Juan Williams
    Phone: 978-327-8806

Term Limits

There are 5 full time member openings. The Human Rights Commission is composed of 9 members which serve 3 year terms. For the initial appointments to the commission, the mayor, with approval of the city council, shall appoint members as follows:

  • Three members for a term of three years
  • Three members for a term of two years
  • Three members for a term of one year

Responsibilities

Human Rights shall have the following responsibilities: 

  • To uphold and secure the mandates, rights, privileges of its policy, the Lawrence Human Rights Commission shall be guided by these functions, duties and powers.
  • To enlist the cooperation of racial, ethnic, civic, fraternal, benevolent, private and public agencies in eliminating discrimination and promoting better relations between all sectors of the community by cultivating an atmosphere of mutual understanding and harmonious intergroup relationships.
  • To encourage community participation in policy making relevant to housing, education, public safety, employment, community development and all other areas that touch on the lives of citizens of Lawrence, and institute and conduct educational programs to encourage the granting of equal rights and opportunities to all persons, regardless of their race or political or religious opinions or affiliations.
  • To initiate investigations and hold hearings into the existence of unlawful discrimination or harassment which may deny or tend to deny equal access to, or opportunities in housing, employment, education, public accommodations, services and facilities to any person or group.
  • To offer a hearing to any person or group with a human rights grievance and to investigate any such grievance;
  • To resolve matters of unlawful discrimination whenever possible through mediation, but when this is not possible and after investigation of any such matters, to forward a written report of its findings and recommendations to the mayor, the city council, and any other body the commission deems appropriate.
  • To hold hearings in the course of investigations of unlawful discrimination; with the power of subpoena witnesses, compel their attendance, to administer oaths, to serve written interrogatories, take testimony of any person under oath, and require the production of any evidence and/or answers relating to any matter in question or under investigation before the commission. These powers enumerated in this subsection may be exercised by a vote of three-fourths of the commission members only, and in compliance with the General Laws stipulations.
  • To issue such publications and such results of investigations and research as in the commission's judgment will tend to promote good will and to minimize or eliminate discrimination.
  • To adopt, promulgate, amend and rescind rules and regulation to carry out the provisions of this chapter, and the policies and practices of the commission in connection therewith.
  • To keep the mayor, the city council, and the school committee informed of commission action, report upon request, and yearly to give them a written summary of its work.
  • To secure and to expend the necessary funding and support for the commission from the mayor, the city council, and any other appropriate source.
  • To obtain, upon request, and utilize the services, facilities and support of all municipal departments and agencies unless prohibited by law.

Qualifications

All members of boards, commissions, authorities, and committees of the city, whether appointed by the mayor or the city council, shall be residents of the city unless otherwise provided for in the General Laws or in the Municipal Code, with the exception that no more than three members of the airport commission may be nonresidents. All applicants must be residents of the City of Lawrence. Download the application (PDF). Boards and commissions applications are also available at the:

City of Lawrence, Office of the Mayor Daniel Rivera
200 Common Street
3rd Floor
Lawrence, MA 01840

Applications

The deadline for applications is until selected and filled. Please send your application to the Mayor's Office. Said appointment is subject to the appointment of the Mayor Daniel Rivera and the confirmation of the Lawrence City Council. The City of Lawrence is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Daniel Rivera, Mayor