LIVONIA HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION
The Livonia Human Relations Commission held its scheduled meetings for 2017 on February 9, May 4, September 14, and November 9, in the Robert and Janet Bennett Civic Center Library meeting rooms. In addition, an unscheduled meeting was held on April 24, at a Panera’s Restaurant in Livonia.
The 2017 officers started as:
Elaine Livingway, Chairperson; Sandy Teeter, First Chairperson; and Julie Kain, Secretary. Other Commissioners were Dillon Breen, Harold Klee, James Roye, Caroline Grech, Kevin Aoun, and new Commissioner Richard Glover. The officers changed mid-year to Sandy Teeter as Chairperson; Elaine Livingway as First Chairperson; and Caroline Grech as Secretary.
The Human Relations Commission was formed in 1966 as a direct response to a racial incident in a neighboring community. In 1980 the Commission created a subcommittee on Women and in 1988 added “handicappers” to its list of concerns. In other words, the HRC is continually evolving to meet the needs of the Community.
In 2017, the list continues to expand and contract, as if giving birth to the ever changing needs of society. Human Trafficking has been on the Commission’s radar for several years, and in January, which is slated as “National Human Trafficking Awareness” month, the Commission lent its support to an event hosted by Senator Judy Emmons at the Livonia City Hall.
On January 16, the Commission attended the ”annual” Martin Luther King, Jr. program hosted by Madonna University. The HRC has been a co-sponsor for years with the University and continually looks for new ways to reach our youth with his message of peace.
The Commission continued to be proactive in the community by attending the State of the City address by Mayor Wright in March and the Livonia Community Prayer Breakfast in May.
In April, the Commission received a joint grant of $1750 with the Livonia Arts Commission, from the Livonia Community Foundation. This grant was slated for the performance of “Common Chord”, two musicians that deliver a powerful message of love, friendship, and tolerance, “Music that Matters”. The performance was on May 24th and was a huge success.
In May, the Commission welcomed Cynthia Spruill, a resident from a neighboring community who was discriminately treated at a store in Livonia by another patron. In September, the Commission welcomed Cheryl Kasparek, a Livonia citizen concerned with the racial climate in this country.
More than a hundred copies of “A Color of His Own” by Leo Lionni, a book geared toward kindergarten through grade 2, was purchased by the Commission and will be handed out at the Youth Commission Holiday Party.
The HRC continues to change to meet the needs of our society. We’re excited with the plans we have for 2018. Stay tuned.