Helms selected as 2017 Human Rights Award recipient

The Newton Human Rights Commission is delighted to announce that it has selected Dr. Janet E. Helms as the recipient of the 2017 Human Rights Award. This award recognizes a resident or employee working in the city who has demonstrated consistent, ongoing work in the field of human rights. Dr. Helms is the Augustus Long Professor in the Department of Counseling, Developmental, and Educational Psychology and Director of the Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture at Boston College. Dr. Helms serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Psychological Assessment and the Journal of Counseling Psychology and is on the Counsel of Research Elders of the Journal of Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology. She has written over sixty empirical and theoretical articles and four books on the topics of racial identity and cultural influences on assessment and counseling practice. Her pioneering research has been applied to multiple disciplines and has been acknowledged with numerous awards. Mayor Setti Warren and Alisa Caira, Josie Joseph, Kimia Tabatabaei, and Khyla Turner, students from Newton North and Newton South High Schools, will also be recognized for their dedication to the issue of human rights in the Newton Community. The award ceremony is open to the public and will take place on Tuesday December 5, 2017 at 7:00pm at the Druker Auditorium located in the Newton Free Library at 333 Homer St. If you would like to attend, please RSVP (requested, not required) to slao@newtonma.gov.


The City of Newton established the Newton Human Rights Commission in 1973 to ensure mutual understanding and respect among all persons in the City by promoting acceptance of diversity and combating discrimination. Programs recently hosted or co-sponsored by the Commission include “How to Talk About Race in 2017,” Pride Flag Raising, a panel discussion on Civil Rights, a genocide exhibit in Newton North and Newton South High Schools, and an Upstander Intervention training. Meetings are open to the public and are held the third Tuesday of the month at 7:00pm in Room 106C at Newton City Hall (1000 Commonwealth Ave). Visit our website (www.newtonma.gov/humanrightscommission) to learn more.


The Commission consists of commissioners and advisory council members, all of whom are volunteers who live or work in Newton and are appointed by the Mayor. We currently have openings; if you are interested in serving on the Commission, please apply at www.newtonma.gov/commissions.

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