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.
The Junior Commission was founded by former Chair Judy Rice. Current CHR Vice Chair Dmitra Smith has served as Program Manager since its inaugural year in 2013. She continues 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 interview process.
* Due to the pandemic, the Junior Commissioner meetings may start off being held virtually for the 2021-2022 incoming cohort. Applications for the term that begins August 2021 are due by May 22, 2021. Virtual interviews will be held June 14 through June 16, 2021. *
Project Managers: Commissioners Lyndsey Burcina, Elizabeth Escalante, and Mickale Jones