Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Changes Coming to Human Relations Commission

Submitted Photo
From left, Carla Day, past commissioner; Ileana Ocasio, new commissioner; Pressley Day, past commissioner; Al Dunn, continuing commissioner; Della Hicks, former secretary of the Pottstown Human Relations Commission; Johnny Corson, new commissioner; Luvenia Lister, new commissioner, Rita Paez, incoming Borough Councilor for Pottstown' 6th Ward, Founder and Executive Director of the CCLU, and former Chairperson of the Pottstown Human Relations Commission; Diana Rivera O'Bryant, new head of the Pottstown Human Relations Commission.

Blogger's Note: The following was provided by the Pottstown Human Relations Commission.

Newly elected borough councilwoman Rita Paez, who will take the oath of office next month, hosted a community celebration at the Centro Cultural Latinos Unidos (CCLU), located at 301 King St., in the basement of First Baptist Church on Saturday.

The purpose of the gathering was to renew the Human Relations Commission's commitment to the Pottstown community, introduce the new head of the Pottstown Commission, Diana Rivera O'Bryant, as well as to honor Della Hicks, a long-time staffer of the Pottstown Human Relations Commission, and a long-time committed and passionate champion of civil rights. 
Submitted Photo
Rita Paez, right, honors Della Hicks with an award
for her commitment and service to the community.
Also pictured, Deidre Tierney

Hicks will be retiring from the Pottstown HRC and plans on spending more time with her family. 

Back in September, Mayor Sharon Thomas said, "The services that Della provided to the Borough have been much appreciated and will be sincerely missed." 

The mission of the HRC is to conduct outreach and education that promotes justice and cultural understanding, and improve relationships among all citizens. 

Among other issues, the HRC deals with disabilities rights, employee grievances, harassment, discrimination, as well landlord-tenant issues. 

 O'Bryant, who is also a prolific grantwriter and trained mediator, said she is now working on "revamping borough ordinances" to give more power to the HRC in giving a voice to those whose rights may have been violated. 

"It is one of my passions to build relationships, alliances and find commonalities among diverse groups of people," O'Bryant said.  

She envisions the HRC sponsoring unifying community events and activities in Pottstown, including students, adults, businesses and organizations who have joined in the fight against discrimination and intolerance. Her message of encouragement: "Come out and support our events. We want to get to know all the other agencies in the area."

She joins forces with new Commissioners Ileana Ocasio, a Family Advocate with the Pottstown Maternity Care Colition, Johnny Corson, the Chairman of the Reorganizing Committee of the Pottstown Branch NAACP, and Luvenia Lister.

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