Human Relations Commission

Promoting human dignity, equal opportunity, mutual respect and harmony

Last updated Mar. 15, 2019 - 7:48 am
  • Upcoming Meeting

  • April 11, 2019
  • 6:00 P.M. - 7:30 P.M.
  • Agenda
  • Meets: Second Thursday of each month
  • Meeting Location

  • City of Raleigh Municipal Building
  • 222 W. Hargett Street
  • City Council Chambers
  • Raleigh, NC 27601

Public Participation

Everyone is invited to attend meetings of the Commission.

If you would like to schedule an appearance before the Commission, contact Marionna Poke-Stewart at 919-996-6100


The City of Raleigh's Human Relations Commission (RHRC) advises the City Council in the area of human services and human rights. The Human Relations Commission works to promote human dignity, equal opportunity and harmony among Raleigh residents.

Promoting activities and programs for residents without regard to race, color, creed, gender, age, sexual orientation, or national origin. The commission sponsors a number of activities that promote diversity and human relations.


The Commission sponsors a number of activities that promote diversity and human relations. Among them:

  • Human Relations Awards

The annual Human Relations Awards recognize those who make outstanding contributions to advancing human rights in our city. Awards go to individuals, organizations, businesses and students.

  • Mayor's Unity Day Celebration

This annual event brings people together to share ideas that enhance understanding of diverse cultures and improve human relations. Community, faith, business and education leaders, along with residents who want to strengthen human relations, come together to learn about diversity, share insights and build an open and inviting community.

  • Human Services Grants

The Commission reviews requests from human services agencies seeking grants from the City and makes recommendations to the City Council. The grants are awarded annually to nonprofits that serve the elderly, youth, those with handicaps, those who abuse substances and homeless.

  • Community Dialogues

The Commission sponsored a series of dialogues that engaged the public in how the City of Raleigh can best serve its increasingly diverse population.


  • Chris Moutos
  • Chairperson
  • Serving: 3rd Re-Term, 3/19/2018 - 3/18/2020
  • Emily Kissee
  • Vice-Chairperson
  • Serving: 2nd Term, 4/22/2019-4/21/2021
  • Melissa Florer-Bixler
  • Secretary
  • Serving: 2nd Term - 2/21/2018 - 2/20/2020
  • Bearta Al Chahar
  • Serving: 1st Term - 1/23/19 - 1/21/21
  • Wrenia Bratts-Brown
  • Serving: 3rd Term, 4/16/2018 - 4/15/2020
  • Tanzeel Chohan
  • Serving: 3rd Re-Term, 4/16/2018 - 4/15/2020
  • Duane Hall
  • Serving: 1st Term - 2/7/18 - 2/6/20
  • Eric Handy
  • Serving: 2nd Term, 2/8/2019 - 2/7/2021
  • Keith Karlsson
  • Serving: 2nd Term, 7/5/2018 - 7/6/2020
  • Mary Lucas
  • Serving: 1st Re-Term, 3/22/2017 - 3/21/2019
  • Taty Padilla
  • Serving: 2nd Term, 3/1/2018 - 3/15/2020
  • James Purington
  • Serving: 3rd Term - 6/6/2018 - 6/7/2020
  • Mary Thompson
  • Serving: 2nd Term - 7/4/2019 - 7/3/2021

Human Services Grants

The City of Raleigh awards grants annually to nonprofit organizations that provide services to Raleigh residents who belong to five targeted groups: the elderly, youth, persons with handicaps or disabilities, substance abusers and homeless individuals.

To qualify for a grant, an applicant must be a private nonprofit organization with headquarters in the City of Raleigh. An applicant must have at least one year of recent experience in the delivery of services, maintain 501(c) (3) tax-exempt status and demonstrate sensitivity to the special needs of its clientele.

Grants are awarded on a fiscal-year basis. The Raleigh Human Relations Commission makes recommendations to the Raleigh City Council on which applications to approve.

Here are the steps that the City of Raleigh follows in receiving, reviewing and approving grant applications:

  1. Nonprofits interested in receiving grants submit applications to the Community Engagement Division by 5 p.m. on the first Monday in December.
  2. The applications are reviewed by a subcommittee consisting of five members of the Human Relations Commission and one representative each from the City of Raleigh Substance Abuse Advisory Commission, Wake County Human Services, the nonprofit community and United Way of the Greater Triangle.
  3. The subcommittee submits its recommendations to the full Human Relations Commission. The Commission considers and discusses the subcommittee's recommendations, then forwards its recommendations to the city manager.
  4. The city manager submits the Commission's recommendations to the City Council for final action as part of its budget approval. Grant applicants receive notification of the City Council's decision.
  5. The Volunteer and Human Services Division ensures that grant recipients perform the services for which they received funding.

Download Grant Application

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