The Junior Commission on Human Rights was created to provide a means to engage high school youth ages 14 to 18 in education and activism around human rights issues within Sonoma County, as well as provide an opportunity to foster leadership skills by educating their peers, develop a voice for advocacy, and bring awareness to human rights issues affecting members of our community. The students are encouraged to be active participants in their community, engaging with elected officials and human rights organizations. The program also provides a vehicle by which County Supervisors are able to learn about current concerns and issues important to youth and important to advancing human rights in Sonoma County.
Current CHR Vice Chair and Junior Commission Project Manager, Dmitra Smith, co-founded the Junior Commission, along with former Commissioner Judy Rice. Commissioner Smith has continued to build this program year after year, so that the experience of working on the Junior Commission encourages participants to be involved in day-to-day issues that affect their community, and expand the boundaries of their individual and collective exploration of the meaning and impact of human rights.
Junior Commissioners are selected each spring for a term that runs concurrent with the school year. Junior Commissioners may be eligible for school credit for their participation. Acceptance into the program is based on a written application and an interview process.
We have a group of enthusiastic and passionate Juniors on board for the 2016-2017 term, which began in August. Applications from 14 to 18-year old high school residents are now being accepted for the August 2017 to May 2018 term. The deadline for applications is May 1, 2017.
Interviews will take place at the end of May and beginning of June, 2017. Contact the Commission on Human Rights office for more information.
Commissioner Dmitra Smith, Project Manager
Commissioner Rachel Judkins