Human Relations Commission

The Human Relations Commission (HRC) protects and promotes human dignity and respect for the rights of all individuals and groups; establishes and implements procedures to receive, investigate, mediate, conciliate, adjust, dispose of, issue orders and hold hearings on complaints arising under the human relations ordinance.

The HRC also makes 
recommendations to City Council on Community Development Block Grant and reviews and makes recommendations regarding the status of social services provided to East Lansing residents. These members represent to the extent practicable, the population of the city especially those groups protected by the ordinance.

The Commission consists of nine members who serve 3-year terms and meet monthly.

Civil Rights


In accordance with Chapter 22 of the City Code, the City protects against discrimination or prejudice based on religion, race, color, national origin, age, height, weight, disability, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, student status or the use of adaptive devices or aides.

One of the reasons that the work of the HRC is so important is that East Lansing's ordinance provides non-discrimination protections that are more inclusive than either Michigan's Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act or Federal Law. Specifically, East Lansing's ordinance prohibits discrimination based on student status, sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. As a result, given the unique role that East Lansing plays in ensuring that LGBT individuals are protected from discrimination in the community, the City of East Lansing has appointed Shelli Neumann, HRC Staff Resource, to serve as a designated liaison to the LGBT community. Residents and visitors can contact Shelli Neumann with any questions or concerns at (517) 319-6893 or via email.

What do I do if I am discriminated against?


Immediately record the facts of the incident: date, time, place, names, etc.and complete the Initial Inquiry Form. A staff member will contact you to discuss your concern and to schedule an informal conference. If you have questions,please call East Lansing City Hall at (517) 319-6893 during normal business hours. Learn more.

Fair Housing


The City protects the right to engage in any type of real estate transaction without discrimination. Learn more about Fair Housing.

Resolution to Acknowledge, Apologize for and Condemn Racial Discrimination in East Lansing


In February 2018, the East Lansing City Council adopted a Resolution (PDF) that acknowledges, apologizes for and condemns racial discrimination in East Lansing. The resolution was created in response to an inspiring, informational and personal essay penned by 15-year-old East Lansing High School student Alex Hosey, entitled "Why I Sit."   


Meetings

  • Meetings take place the first Wednesday of each month @ 7 p.m.
  • 54B District Court
    Court / City Council Conference Room
    101 Linden St. (unless otherwise noted)
    East Lansing, MI
Agendas & Minutes
Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are available following approval.
Most Recent AgendaView All Agendas and Minutes
Human Relations Commission Seal

Members


  • Dana Watson, Vice Chair
    Term expires: 2018
  • VACANCY
    Term expires: 2020
  • Suzanne Sonneborn, Chair
    Term expires: 2018                     
  • Liz Miller
     Term expires: 2019
  • VACANCY
     Term expires: 2019

  • Carla McWherter
     Term expires: 2019
  • Pat Cannon                                  Term  expires:  2020                 
  • Daniel Baum                                           Term expires: 2020
  • La Tricia Perry, Chair                         Term expires: 2020

City Staff


Apply for a Vacancy


Submit a 
Board / Commission Application (PDF) to apply for an appointment to the Human Relations Commission.