At the January 7, 2019, Reorganization meeting, the Newtown Township Board of Supervisors (BOS Definition) appointed 5 people to the newly created Human Relations Commission (HRC), which was established by the Anti-Discrimination Ordinance passed by the BOS on November 28, 2018 (read “Newtown Township BOS 2018 Accomplishments”).
The ordinance, a copy of which you can download here, safeguards the right of citizens to obtain and hold employment and public accommodation and to secure housing accommodation and commercial property “without regard to actual or perceived race, color, gender, religion, ancestry, genetic information, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, familial status, marital status, age, mental or physical disability, use of guide or support animals and/or mechanical aids, and to have equal access to postsecondary educational institutions.”
The Commission will handle complaints through a fact-finding conference with the parties of the dispute in order to reach a resolution without the need to hire lawyers or go to court.
Here are the members of the Commission:
Mercy Ingraham: “Fair treatment under the law is a life-long interest of mine. I have worked with the poor and the disadvantaged all of my professional career.” Mercy’s volunteer activities have included being a team leader in an inter-faith coalition to assist local refugee resettlement since 2016.
Aamir Nayeem: “Being the son of Muslim immigrant parents, I’m unfortunately aware of the discrimination that ethnic and religious groups face regularly. Although I haven’t personally faced much harassment or discrimination living and going to school in Newtown, I’d like to be a part of the solution and make sure that others don’t have to deal with it either.” While a student at the University of Pittsburgh, Aamir was a member of the Muslim Students Association’s executive board, which hosted events and discussions helping educate others about Islam and helping students deal with the rise of Islamophobia.
Joe O’Neill: “Over the course of my career, I have served in many volunteer capacities, and perhaps pertinent to this commission, I have experience with diversity and inclusion policies within companies both for-profit and non-profit.”
Angelic Ranck: A physician by training and originally from Puerto Rico, Angelic is a member of the Newtown Elementary Diversity Committee and has volunteered with her church in Plainsboro, NJ and other non-profits. She also leads the Princeton Pike chapter of the Organization for Latino Achievement, an employee resource group that her employer, BMS, sponsors. As part of this group, Angelic facilitates employee development activities for Hispanic minorities as well as liaises with other resource groups to champion events that help reinforce an environment of inclusion.
Amber Ray: Amber recently moved to Newtown from Bristol Borough, where she was on the human relations commission for two years. Amber thus has critical experience in the activities of such Commissions.
Thank you Mercy, Aamir, Joe, Angelic, and Amber for volunteering!