Human Relations Commission

Human Resources Commission The Morris County Human Relations Commission promotes celebrating diversity, communication, and appreciation for the many ethnic and cultural influences on our communities. A great many cultures are represented in Morris County and our communities and citizens benefit from the variety of people, customs, and traditions. Welcoming and understanding the diversity makes us a stronger county.

Some of the programs and projects in which the Human Relations Committee has participated include:

  • Charter member of the New Jersey Coalition against Human Trafficking and partnering for the Stand against Human Trafficking on the Morristown Green.
  • Supporting the “What Prejudice Means to Me” contest sponsored by the National Council of Jewish Women – West Morris Section
  • Creating a diversity category at the MorristownGreen.com film festival and awarding a prize to the top film in that category
  • Supporting immigrant students at the County College of Morris for in county residency tuition.
  • Preparing a response protocol for crisis management for communities when a cultural issue arises, in order to assist with communication and resolution

Latest News

Morris County HRC Co-Sponsors Juneteenth Community Movie Night

On Saturday, June 15, 2024, the Morris County Human Relations Commission was one of over fifteen co-sponsors of the Community Movie Night at CCM, commemorating the anniversary of Juneteenth.¹  The event was produced by Clifford D. Dawkins, Esq., Dean & Director of Rutgers University Law Minority Student Program (MSP).

The event began with the introduction of each co-sponsor who then spoke briefly about their organization.  This was followed by the documentary, “How to Sue the Klan: The Legacy of the Chattanooga Five.”  The film documents the story of how five Black women from Chattanooga used legal ingenuity to take on the Ku Klux Klan in a historic 1982 civil case, fighting to hold them accountable for their crimes and bring justice to their community. Their victory set a legal precedent that continues to inspire the ongoing fight against organized hate, https://www.thecivilcase.com/.

A talk-back panel discussion followed the screening with Moderator, Cliff Dawkins; Professor Randolph McLaughlin, professor of law at Pace Law School and lead attorney on the case in the film; Professor Betty Lewis Laurence, adjunct professor at Pace Law School and attorney on the case in the film; and Donita Judge, Esq., current Associate Executive Director at the Center for Constitutional Rights ("CCR"), the legal advocacy organization behind the case in the film.  

Susan J. Waldman, Treasurer, Morris County Human Relations Commission, represented the Commission at the event.  Susan commented, “I cannot begin to express how inspirational and moving the film and panel discussion were.  Hearing about it from the actual legal team was beyond anyone’s expectations.  I recommend that everyone see this film.”

 Waldman_HRC_2024.jpg

Susan J. Waldman, introducing the Morris County Human Relations Commission. Standing at right is Clifford D. Dawkins.

¹Juneteenth has been celebrated as a national holiday since 2021 when President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law. “Juneteenth commemorates General Order No. 3 which was issued by Major General Gordon Granger, who arrived in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865. The issuing of this order and the arrival of Federal troops in Galveston effectively ended the Civil War and emancipated those confined to a life of slavery. Specifically, Granger made the following declaration in General Order No. 3:

‘The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor.’”  

 American Battlefield Trust

                                                     

 

 

Morris County Human Relations Commission Celebrates Annual Meeting

Morris County Human Relations Commission Celebrates Annual Meeting

The Morris County Human Relations Commission held its Annual Dinner Meeting on Wednesday, June 5, 2024, at Capisce Trattoria in Morris Plains.  The occasion celebrated the transition to our new 2024-25 fiscal year.  The program included the installation of officers and members for the 2024-25 fiscal year.  The following officers were elected to lead the Commission:  Chair, Rabbi Moshe Rudin; Vice Chair, Edward Yaw; Secretary, Sue Rosenthal; Treasurer, Susan J. Waldman; and Immediate Past Chair, Clarence Curry, Jr.

A plaque was presented to Clarence Curry, Jr. in recognition of his commitment, dedication and leadership of the Commission for two and one-half years.  Osman Davies, Fair Housing Committee Chair, who is leaving the Commission after many years of dedicated service, received a well-deserved Certificate of Appreciation.

After meeting solely by Zoom this past year, it was a pleasure to share the evening in person.

(L-R) Meyer Rosenthal, Osman Davies, Clarence Curry, Jr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(L-R) Meyer Rosenthal, Osman Davies, Clarence Curry, Jr.

2024 Annual Dinner HRC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(L-R) Back Row, Patrick LaGuerre, Osman Davies, Steve Neblett

Second Row, Shalini Mehrotra, Monishe Khadse, Tina Liu Jen, Meyer Rosenthal, Wayne Cresta, Judith C. Favors

 First Row, Susan J. Waldman, Sue Rosenthal, Clarence Curry, Jr., Rabbi Moshe Rudin, Edward Yaw

 (L-R) Susan J. Waldman, Meyer Rosenthal, Sue Rosenthal, Rabbi Moshe Rudin, Clarence Curry, Jr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 (L-R) Susan J. Waldman, Meyer Rosenthal, Sue Rosenthal, Rabbi Moshe Rudin, Clarence Curry, Jr.

Meyer Rosenthall and Clarence Curry

(L-R) Meyer Rosenthal, Clarence Curry, Jr.

 

 

Blue Light Campaign Lights the Way

In response to a call from its Jewish community, the Township of Randolph is taking a united stand against hate in all its forms. Community representatives Melissa Weiner, Aliza Sternberg, and Rebecca Wanatick have launched the Blue Light Campaign, inviting the entire community to join hands in solidarity against Jewish hate and to illuminate the world with compassion.Members of Blue Light Campaign

The Blue Light Campaign is a poignant initiative that seeks to foster unity and support for the Jewish community in Randolph. The campaign encourages residents to take several actions: 

Illuminate with Blue Lights: Place a blue light in a visible window and tie a blue ribbon on a tree while adorning your space with holiday decorations.

Pray for Safe Return: Extend your thoughts and prayers for the safe return of hostages taken during the recent Hamas attack.

Speak Out Against Hatred: Raise your voice against any form of hatred targeting the Jewish community and stand up for inclusivity.

Celebrate Diversity: Embrace the opportunity to connect with and learn more about the Jewish community in Randolph.

In response to a call from its Jewish community, the Township of Randolph is taking a united stand against hate in all its forms. Community representatives Melissa Weiner, Aliza Sternberg, and Rebecca Wanatick have launched the Blue Light Campaign, inviting the entire community to join hands in solidarity against Jewish hate and to illuminate the world with compassion.

The Blue Light Campaign is a poignant initiative that seeks to foster unity and support for the Jewish community in Randolph. The campaign encourages residents to take several actions:

The Jewish community has been an integral part of Randolph's history, contributing significantly to its development since the early 1900s. Their enduring presence continues to enrich the cultural fabric of Randolph Township.

“I just wanted to say how much this means to the Jewish community. I think a lot of us are feeling a lot of unease”, said Meredith Ross, a member of the Interfaith-PEACE Alliance. “It is really important that we work and bring all communities together to be united against hate in any form.”

The Township Council, alongside members of the Interfaith-PEACE alliance, joined forces during the Council meeting to capture a community photo. This image showcased campaign lights, ribbons, and residents, epitomizing the community's robust backing for the Randolph Jewish Community.

Randolph Township reaffirms its commitment to fostering an inclusive and tolerant community, where diversity is celebrated, and hate has no place.Members of Campaign holding blue lights The Blue Light Campaign serves as a beacon of hope, guiding Randolph towards a brighter, more united future.

A Statement from Randolph Deputy Mayor, Christine Carey, from the November 28, 2023, Township Council meeting: 

"The Jewish community has been one of the pillars of Randolph's history. From the early 1900s they were integral in building the Randolph community first as farmers and then by building a summer resort destination by constructing hotels and boarding houses. Today our Jewish residents remain a vital part of Randolph Township.

We ask the full council to participate in the Blue Light Campaign. We also look forward to working with the creators of this campaign in our Interfaith-PEACE alliance moving forward. At this time, we would like to take a picture with the campaign lights, ribbons and residents to offer our support of our Randolph Jewish Community."


Human Relations Commission Member, Theresa Maughan presents at NJEA Convention

(pictured (left to right) Trevor Melton from the Amistad Commission, Theresa Maughan 2022 NJ STOY, Dr. Patrick Lamy director of the Amistad Commission, and Ane Roseborough an Amistad Commissioner) Theresa Maughan, a member of the Morris County Human Relations Commission Education Committee and New Jersey’s 2022, Teacher of the Year, was a presenter for the NJ Amistad Commission at the recent NJEA Conference, November 8-9, 2023, in Atlantic City.  The theme of this year’s Convention was “Equity, Justice, and Learning,” which is exactly what the New Jersey Amistad legislation promotes.  L. 2021, CHAPTER 153, approved January 7, 2021 Senate, No. 1028 states, “…The [Department of Education] Amistad Commission shall…(2) conduct [at least one] teacher [workshop] workshops annually on the African slave trade, slavery in America, the vestiges of slavery in this country and the accomplishments, experiences, and contributions of African-Americans to our society, covering information which often has been omitted from traditional curricula; (3) [assist the Amistad Commission in monitoring] monitor and assess the inclusion of such materials and curricula in the State's educational system; and (4) [consult with the Amistad Commission to determine ways it may] survey, catalog, and [extend] recommend to the State Board of Education

Theresa Maughanthe expansion of, content about slave trade [and] , American slavery education , and African-American history presently being incorporated into the [Core Curriculum Content Standards] New Jersey Student Learning Standards and taught in the State's educational system , the purpose of which is to ensure that all New Jersey students acquire a broad and deep knowledge of all people who contributed to the founding and development of New Jersey and the United States and to promote the self-esteem, confidence, and identity of students who previously may not have learned about past and living examples of people of their own cultural identity who have had positive impacts upon the American story. (cf: P.L.2004, c.94, s.1)…”  This requires leadership from school board members, school administrators, and classroom teachers to ensure that the Amistad mandate is infused throughout the K-12 curriculum. “I’m always willing to advocate on behalf of NJ students through my presentations with the NJ Amistad Commission,” stated Theresa Maughan. 

Classroom full of students

Theresa Maughan

Solidarity with the Asian-American Community

The Human Relations Commission of Morris County stands in solidarity with the Asian-American community against acts of hate, demonization, intimidation and other expressions of vile racism that have become widespread in the wake of the Covid pandemic.

Any expression of prejudice, discrimination, stereotyping, diminution and exclusion causes real harm to people and to our society as a whole. The Asian community in the United States has suffered systemic racism, stereotyping and marginalization for far too long.

We must maintain zero tolerance to hate in any form.

Acts and expressions of hatred and bigotry against any person or group on the basis of their identity is an atrocity and cannot be tolerated. Attacks against members of the Asian-American community must be utterly condemned and their perpetrators swiftly brought to justice. We call upon our entire community to combat hate through education, reinforcement of the core values of the American democracy and proactive concrete steps such as anti-bigotry programs in schools, community forums and houses of worship.

It is not enough to condemn acts of violence and bigotry. We must take concrete action to foster a just society that values, celebrates and welcomes each individual and group.

Morris County Human Relation Commission's Celebration of Black History Month

View the Morris County Human Relation Commission's Celebration of Black History Month with Dr. Forrest Pritchett:

Statement on Cherry Hill School District requiring an African American history course in high school

2/26/21:

It's great that the school district is offering a meaningful Black history course. This course is mandatory for Freshman students and specifically designed to connect Black people in history and black people today, as history should be taught. 

As meaningful as this course is, it should not replace the history of Black people's treatment and contribution throughout the world and USA and must be taught from K-12. As a commission, we must institutionalize our work so that after planting the seed, progress continues. Reaching out and acknowledging schools following the Amistad Act would be one way to do that.

Original article: Cherry Hill school district becomes first in N.J. to require an African American history course in high school.

The change was prompted by a group of students who pushed officials to provide a more comprehensive curriculum.