The Commission’s Community Relations Bureau (“CRB”) promotes understanding and respect among New Yorkers. Its five borough-based Community Service Centers provide resources to help New Yorkers understand their rights and obligations under the City Human Rights Law.
The following are highlights of CRB’s accomplishments in 2018. Keep checking this page for monthly updates, and be sure to follow us on social media for daily happenings.
The Commission celebrated New York City’s Jewish and Sikh communities by hosting its 2nd Annual Interfaith Seder at the Jewish Center of Jackson Heights, and partnering with the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, and the Office of the Manhattan Borough President to celebrate the Vaisakhi holiday at the David Dinkins Municipal Building. Both events brought hundreds of New Yorkers together to celebrate immigrant justice and appreciation for New York City’s rich cultural and religious diversity. View photos of the Seder and the Vaisakhi celebrations on Facebook.
The Commission partnered with the Metropolitan College of the City of New York to offer a workshop on the protections that the New York City Human Rights Law offers tenants using lawful sources of income to secure apartments and pay rent to the staffers of local elected officials throughout the Bronx, along with a resource fair focused on housing rights for the South Bronx community at the College on the same day. The Commission also brought its commemoration of Fair Housing Month to Staten Island, where it partnered with several community-based organizations and the Richmond County Domestic Violence Task Force to host a Fair Housing Forum and Resource Fair. Commissioner Malalis offered remarks at the Forum.
The Commission partnered with the Mayor’s Office to host a Citywide Day of Action for Immigrant Justice, conducting literature drops at major transit hubs and hosting mobile outreach and intake centers in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and on Staten Island. In total, the Commission was able to reach over one thousand New Yorkers, providing them with access and resources related to the protections offered to immigrants under the Human Rights Law.
The Commission also took a stand against sexual harassment and assault in April, partnering with the First Lady of New York City to co-host “#NoMoreSilenceNYC” to highlight the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, as well as the Commission’s report, “Combating Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: Recommendations and Trends Based on 2017 Public Hearing Testimony”. Commission staff also participated in annual Denim Day commemorations in Manhattan and the Bronx, in order to provide local communities with information and resources regarding protections against gender-based discrimination under the Human Rights Law.
On February 15, the Commission brought together academic and community leaders to host a lively and engaging discussion about human rights in African communities at Jerome Green Hall at Columbia Law School. The discussion ranged in topics from NYC and international human rights law to immigration, fair housing, and the gentrification of traditionally African American neighborhoods.
Also in February, the Commission hosted a panel discussion in Harlem on the topics of race, displacement, and economic justice. The event was attended by community leaders from across New York City and highlighted the needs of communities that are rapidly changing due to gentrification. View a photo album from the event on Facebook.
After a Muslim woman in Brooklyn reported that a number of teenagers harassed her and shouted Islamophobic comments towards her, the Commission's Community Relations Bureau and volunteers conducted a "Day of Action" at the Brooklyn Borough Hall MTA Station to educate community members about legal protections against discriminatory harassment and religious discrimination under the City Human Rights Law and how to report incidents.
The Commission also used its digital channels to draw attention to the activity itself and supportive materials like the #IAmMuslimNYC Fact Sheet.