The South Bend Human Rights Commission was formed in 1956.
To provide service to the citizens of South Bend through impartial, unbiased decisions regarding discrimination charges filed with the South Bend Human Rights Commission under the ordinance in areas of employment, housing, public accommodation and education, based on race, religion, color, sex, national origin or ancestry, sexual orientation or gender identity, disability and in housing familial status. To stimulate community awareness of equal protection of the law in protected areas through education, collaboration, and coordination with other community agencies.
Duties and powers of the commission
In addition to receiving and or initiating investigations of discriminatory practices and recommending for appointment to the Mayor such personnel as may be necessary, the Commission can act as conciliator in matters involving race, religion, color, sex, national origin or ancestry, sexual orientation or gender identity, disability and in housing familial status. It can create advisory committees and sub-committees to effectuate its purposes. It can recommend to the Mayor and Common Council legislation to further purposes of the ordinance. It can take testimony of any person under oath relating to any matter in question before it. Upon the approval of the Department of Law, it can subpoena witnesses, documents, and records pertinent to matters under investigation.
A Statement from Commissioner Penny Hughes, Chairperson of the Women’s Concerns Committee:
“On August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment was ratified and signed into law by the Secretary of State on August 26, 2020, known today as Women’s Equality Day, ending the long and hard-fought campaign to win women the right to vote. We call on all women to honor the suffragists who fought to gain your right to vote by taking action this election and making a commitment to vote.
Today we commemorate this day where women not only cast ballots but can also vote for women, too!”
A Statement from the Commission on the anniversary of the ADA:
“This July marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act. It was signed into law on July 26th, 1990, by George H.W. Bush. The South Bend Human Rights Commission would like to memorialize this landmark event of progress in access and inclusion in our workplaces and communities. This Civil Rights law provides that all persons should have equal protections and rights. The SBHRC is pleased to take part in this observance and reaffirm our commitment to the disabled community by providing resources and support. We further pledge to continue our efforts to spread the message that it’s about what people CAN do, and not limiting people because of what they CAN’T do.”
ADA Award Presentation:
In honor of the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Human Rights Commission presented Ms. Karen Brandy-Comer and Mr. Kent Lauderman with awards in recognition of their efforts in the disability community. The awards were presented in small ceremonies on July 24, 2020.
A Statement on Race and Equity from the St. Joseph Circuit, Superior, and Probate Courts:
St. Joseph County Board Declares Racism a Public Health Crisis – Resolution #01-2020
Commission remarks on a proposed HUD rule:
In the Fall of 2019, the South Bend Human Rights Commissioners expressed concerns to HUD about the harsh effects a proposed rule would have on progress for housing equality. It is refreshing to know that national banks and lenders have joined civil rights groups to oppose the proposed rule. Perhaps this corporate constituency will move HUD to reconsider enactment of this rule.
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319 N Niles Ave
South Bend, Indiana 46617