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Cville Human Rights Commission Accepting Applications - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Cville Human Rights Commission Accepting Applications

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Charlottesville City Council Charlottesville City Council

The push to fill spots on Charlottesville's Human Rights Commission is underway.

The commission has sparked months of debate and discussion from the community. Now the city is looking for at least nine people to move the vision forward.

Applications for the Human Rights Commission were put online Thursday afternoon. Charlottesville leaders are hoping to find a diverse board that represents as many groups as possible. 

One of the goals of the commission is to give people a chance to be heard.

"For individuals that may feel like they don't have a voice, this will provide them with an opportunity to have a voice, to bring some of their concerns forth," said David Ellis, assistant city manager. 

After almost a year of debate and discussion, Charlottesville City Council approved the proposal for a human rights commission at the end of May. 

"We were pretty detailed in what we're looking at. The commission is going to have some real specific roles - both in sort of looking at dialogue and education," said Kristin Szakos, vice mayor of Charlottesville.

In light of recent Trayvon Martin rallies, there is a call for more dialogue from council on race. Charlottesville leaders say this commission is built upon their dialogue on race efforts - but it will deal with a lot more.

"When we talk about human rights, it's not just about race. It's about sexual orientation, it's about gender, it's about a lot of different things.  It's about immigration status and people who are new to the community versus old," Szakos said.

The group will focus on addressing discrimination in public institutions, while individual cases will go to other organizations or be solved by mediation. 

"We really want to make sure that these folks represent the Charlottesville community and can bring their expertise and their experience to the commission to ensure that human rights continue to be a priority," Ellis said.

Human Rights Commission applications are open through August 23.

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