June 9 NWCHR Meeting Was a Success

We had a great turnout at Saturday’s meeting of the Northwest Coalition for Human Rights, with twenty-six participants representing two counties in Eastern Washington and five counties in North Idaho. It was a well-sized group for in-depth discussion regarding the Coalition’s mission and structure, which was the goal of the meeting.

Thanks to the active participation and patience of all attendees, the group unanimously approved a mission statement, as well as several purposes for the Coalition. Also, the group voted to mandate an interim steering committee for the summer and early fall, composed of volunteers from diverse locations in the Inland Northwest, to design a structural proposal for the organization—developing guidelines for formation, a charter, by-laws, and a plan for the election of a steering committee, executive committee, or board with a chair and vice chair—for presentation at a Coalition meeting in fall 2012.

The 9-member interim steering committee for NWCHR has volunteers from all counties represented at Saturday’s meeting, with the exception of Idaho County. Likewise, each local human rights task force and city commission in attendance has a volunteer on the committee. There is also one steering committee volunteer representing potential individual members of the Coalition.

Those in attendance on June 9 agreed that an interim steering committee with a mandate to form a structural proposal for the organization will allow the Coalition to move towards official formation while still giving local organizations time to vote on their potential membership in NWCHR. Having volunteers from all the interested human rights task forces and city commissions ensures that the interim steering committee will create a proposal informed by the missions of potential member organizations, with a focus on organizations who do human rights work in their home counties.

A full written summary of Saturday’s meeting will be available by the end of the week. We will send another email announcement when the PDF is available on our website.

Many thanks to everyone who attended Saturday’s meeting, shared ideas, and showed respect for the diversity of opinions and needs that were voiced. As was noted at the end of the meeting, a Coalition is not possible without your participation and patience. And special thanks to Ken Faunce for acting as our moderator and to the Moscow Human Rights Commission for providing our lunch.

There were many people who expressed interest in Saturday’s meeting but could not attend. If you couldn’t attend but have feedback to share, especially after reading the meeting summary later this week, we urge you to email us. We will share your ideas with the interim steering committee. Email Kristin at kristinc@uidaho.edu.

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About nwchr

The Northwest Coalition for Human Rights (NWCHR) exists to facilitate connections and communication among organizations and individuals who are engaged in human rights and social justice work in the Northwest region of the United States, with special focus on the Inland Northwest. The coalition, inspired by Bill Wassmuth's former Northwest Coalition Against Malicious Harassment, will give strength to those working at the local level by allowing them to share resources, information, and ideas, as well as making them part of a larger support system. The University of Idaho Office of Human Rights, Access, and Inclusion (HRAI) in Moscow serves as the administrative home for the NWCHR, and the Coalition strives to build strong membership from throughout Idaho and eastern Washington, as well as from other parts of the Northwest region. All are welcome to join NWCHR and give their input.
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