April 3, 2009
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced two appointments to the New York City Commission on Human Rights - William J. Hibsher and Renee Lobo. They join Commissioners Reverend Dr. Calvin Butts, Dr. Eda Harris Hastick, Dr. Edison O. Jackson, Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, Dr. Grace Lyu-Volckhausen, Omar T. Mohammedi, Dr. Derek Bryson Park, Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, and Lisa Quiroz. The Commissioners are appointed to three-year terms and serve in non-salaried positions. They advise the Commissioner/Chair of the City Commission on Human Rights, Patricia L. Gatling, on discrimination issues and review Final Decisions and Orders on cases following trials. The New York City Commission on Human Rights enforces Title 8 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York, one of the most comprehensive civil rights laws in the nation, and encourages positive community relations.
"New York City's strength is in our diversity because as New Yorkers we all live together, work together and pull through adversity together," said Mayor Bloomberg. "William and Renee bring a wealth of experience and unique perspectives that will enrich our diverse Commission. They will join a distinguished group of Commissioners that play a vital role in protecting our communities and enforcing our civil rights law."
"These new appointments to the Commission underscore Mayor Bloomberg's unequivocal commitment to human rights and the vigorous enforcement of the law that protects these rights," said Commissioner/Chair of the NYC Commission on Human Rights Patricia L. Gatling. "We are honored that these recognized leaders in their own communities are willing to serve such a noble cause and we fully intend to tap on their expertise. They will assist the Mayor and I in protecting New Yorkers and visitors against all forms of discrimination."
William J. Hibsher is a Litigation Partner at Bryan Cave, LLP in New York City. Prior to joining Bryan Cave, he was a partner at Teitelbaum, Hiller, Rodman, Paden & Hibsher, P.C. Previously, Mr. Hibsher served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York where he headed the Civil Rights Unit. Among Mr. Hibsher's civic activities, he is Vice President of the Board of Directors for Public Health Solutions; he serves on the Board of Directors for Congregation Beth Simchat Torah; and also served as co-chair of the board of Lambda Legal. Mr. Hibsher was also a Peace Corps volunteer. He has been the recipient of the Lambda Legal Liberty Award, the Hetrick-Martin Institute Emery Award, and the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of NY Award. Mr. Hibsher received his JD from St. John's University School of Law, and his M.A. from Hofstra University. He resides in Manhattan.
Renee Lobo has been a producer, broadcast journalist, investigative reporter, and anchor for International Television for nearly 15 years, serving the South Asian community. Ms. Lobo is a community leader and activist who has spent 20 years assisting new immigrants by providing access to services and programs, often highlighting the issues that most impact this group in the media. In addition to her work at ITV, she serves as a member of the Queens District Attorney's Asian Advisory Council, CB 6 in Queens, and 112th Precinct Community Council. She is board director of Community Understanding for Racial & Ethnic Equality (CURE) Board member and Chair for Domestic Violence Unit for the Center for Women of NY; Director of South Asian Bone Marrow Association; Founder/Director of Eyes for Hope; community advisory board member of the Flushing Hospital and board member of CCHAYA -Community Development Corporation. Ms. Lobo, who speaks fluent Hindi, Urdu, and Italian, received a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the State University of NY, an advanced Honors diploma from the London School of Journalism, and an advanced diploma in Italian Language and Culture from Perugia, Italy.
The New York City Human Rights Law prohibits discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on race, color, creed, age, national origin, alienage or citizenship status, gender (including gender identity and sexual harassment), sexual orientation, disability, marital status, and partnership status. In addition, the Law affords protection against discrimination in employment based on arrest or conviction record and status as a victim of domestic violence, stalking and sex offenses. In housing, the Law affords additional protections based on lawful occupation, family status, and any lawful source of income. The City Human Rights Law also prohibits retaliation and bias-related harassment.