Welcome to the CAHRO Journal

/Welcome to the CAHRO Journal

The CAHRO Journal of Human Relations/Rights

Welcome to the CAHRO Journal

Fall 2018

Article by Ann Noel

By CAHRO Board President Ann Noel

Ann Noel speaking at last November’s CAHRO convening in Los Angeles.

CAHRO is a coalition of approximately 55 city and county human relations and human rights commissions in California, all of which share the common goal of ensuring peaceful intergroup relations among residents in their communities.  We work hard, without staff, to reach out to all of California’s HRCs and to engage them with each other beyond their individual communities. One of our most important means of developing that network is CAHRO’s website, which we use to inform others of CAHRO’s work and that of individual HRCs and the issues that we face.

One of our big projects, developed in the last two years, is a strategic partnership with California State University (CSU) campuses and their Centers for Community Engagement (CCE). Each CSU campus has a CCE program for its students to partner with their local communities on projects promoting community engagement and social justice.  CAHRO has started a pilot project with two CSU campuses, CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI), and CSU Northridge (CSUN), to partner with students at those campuses to advance the work of CAHRO and its California HRCs.

Our first project is a partnership between these two campuses, CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) and CSU Northridge (CSUSN), to create a quarterly newsletter for CAHRO which you are now reading.  Working under the supervision of CSUCI Sociology Professor Dennis Downey, CSUCI students in Spring 2018 researched a variety of social justice topics, highlighting work that HRCs throughout the state are doing to address particular issues, such as a rise in hate crimes.  In turn, CSUN students have taken these papers and created a newsletter, our CAHRO Journal on Human Relations/Human Rights, which we are posting here, supervised by CSUN faculty and CSUN’s Director of Public Relations and CAHRO Board Member, Carmen Ramos Chandler.

Our second project with demographer CSUCI Professor Luis Sanchez worked with his Spring 2018 students to harvest demographic data available on the internet to map statewide data on racial diversity and racial inequality throughout the state.  We will be posting this data on this website in the next few months.  This data will then be made available to you, our member HRCs, for you to use in your communities.

The Centers for Community Engagement are designed to provide CSU students with an opportunity to interact with their communities and use their developing scholarship skills to effect positive change.  Students can provide invaluable assistance to HRCs with little or no staff and the experience of working in communities can have a lifetime beneficial effect on students’ lives.  CAHRO hopes to mentor and to groom the next generation of civil rights leaders.

In Spring 2017, CAHRO sent out a survey asking its members for feedback for interest in partnering with their local CSU for a CCE project.  Almost every HRC in the state responded that they were interested.  To expand to other campuses and provide support to local HRCs, we will need your active involvement working with your local CSU and interested students and faculty.  Contact CAHRO for more information.

CAHRO is also working hard on a statewide program to address the alarming increase in hate crimes, rising every year since 2016.  In the next year, working with the state’s human relations commissions and other human rights organizations, we hope to carry out the following priorities:

  • A statewide social marketing campaign to reach out to our constituency on fighting hate crime and supporting targeted individuals and communities, to engage with our communities that are targeted, and their allies.
  • Invite our communities to stand together visibly against the rise in hate, through traditional methods (window and lawn signs, bumper stickers, etc.) and social media strategies (Facebook, Instagram memes, Snapchat, YouTube, et cetera).
  • Encourage communities to report bias-motivated hostility and incidents, whether or not it is a hate crime.
  • Provide communities with resources and tools to respond and obtain help from governmental agencies and community groups.
  • We plan to link this campaign to ongoing work with our CSU Centers for Community Engagement partners so that both professors and their students can provide research and student energy to work on civil and human rights and human relations issues.
  • Provide communities with assistance to develop a “Hate Free Community” using the Orange County Human Relations Commission as our pilot community, as it has already developed a sophisticated program, a Hate Free OC and kNOw HATE campaign, which we would then replicate across the state.
  • Help communities become engaged civically via voting and speaking at governmental forums (Human Relations Commission meetings, Board of Supervisors’ meetings, etc.) to have their voices heard on promoting justice and equity.
  • Connect and create sustainable connections between various interest groups and communities that will enable CAHRO and its HRCs to mobilize people as a community to respond to hate.
  • Call on communities to be a stronger, more united presence, to respond in a more coordinated matter to respond responsibly to hate when it emerges (to have more compelling messages, to win over proponents of hate when possible, etc.).

We plan to keep you informed of our work via this newsletter and hope that you will give us feedback and information on what your community is doing to promote better human relations and human rights so we can post it on our website.

Ann Noel



About the Author

Ann Noel is CAHRO Board President

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