Advisory Human Relations Council
Valparaiso Advisory Human Relations CouncilPurpose
The Advisory Human Relations Council (AHRC) was established by the Mayor in August 2008 for the purpose of “providing counsel and assistance to the Mayor in [several areas],” including (1) advising the Mayor on the status of human relations in the city and identifying special needs or opportunities to enhance such relations, (2) acting as a resource to the Mayor when racially or ethnically motivated incidents occur, (3) suggesting and promoting events designed to promote a better understanding of minorities and improve the human relations of residents of the City, and (4) serving as a liaison between the Mayor’s office and minority groups. After several meetings, members of the AHRC has developed the following statement of purpose that will guide its activities, at least for the immediate future.
In the judgment of the AHRC, the most effective way to make all residents of Valparaiso feel welcome and believe they have an equal opportunity to participate fully in the community is through the strong leadership of the City and its officials, including City-sponsored opportunities for residents to engage in open, civil discussion of human relations. Barriers to equal opportunity include not only intentional discrimination, including harassment, based on characteristics such as race, color, national origin, gender, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation and socio-economic status, but also unconscious bias that results from acting on the basis of stereotypes rather than individual merit.
The role of the AHRC is primarily advisory, making recommendations to City officials designed to assist them in fulfilling their leadership role in making the City a place where people are not disadvantaged because of the characteristics referred to above. In order to serve effectively in its advisory role, the AHRC will attempt to identify specific barriers to equal opportunity and ways to address such barriers, serve as a voice on behalf of those members of the community who believe they are disadvantaged because of their membership in a historically disadvantaged group, and seek to inform the community through communication about the benefits of diversity and the harm of exclusion.
The Mission, Vision & Values of the AHRC
Valparaiso Advisory Human Relations Council
Mission: The Advisory Human Relations Council advances and supports community inclusion.
Vision: We envision Valparaiso as a welcoming community where diversity is appreciated and viewed as a strength.
Values: Learn from the past; build a better future. Respect differences and similarities. Support empowerment. Encourage unity. Share responsibility.
Learn more about the appointed members of the Advisory Human Relations Council.
Statement of Support for a Diverse City