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Tompkins County Human Rights Commission Elects New Officers, Plans 2015 Events

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Tompkins County Human Rights Commission Elects New Officers, Plans 2015 Events

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Tompkins County Human Rights Commission (tcHRC) has elected officers and is moving forward with several new initiatives for 2015. Now chairing the Commission is Pat Pryor and Vice Chair is Jamila Walida Simon. Continuing officers include Talyse Hampton in the role of Secretary and Amos Malone as Treasurer.

The new Commission Chairperson, former Tompkins County Legislator Pat Pryor, was an educator for over 30 years in Tompkins County, with a focus on Special Education; she retired in 2000 and spends her time working on human rights issues.  Pat has garnered awards for her work in the community such as a Certificates of Appreciation from GIAC, Ithaca High School African-Latino Club, AIDSWork of Tompkins County as well as past Human Rights Commission Awards.  She is a founding member of the Working Group on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Aging.  As well as serving as a County Legislator, Pat has also served as an Alderperson for the City of Ithaca. Of her work on the Commission Pat says, “I feel have a good grasp of both the activist perspective and the municipal culture in which the Commission functions.  As a resident of over 20 years in Ithaca and about the same in Lansing, I have experienced the concerns and issues of both city and rural residents.”

Jamila Walida Simon, new vice chairperson, is the Program Specialist for Civic Engagement and Citizenship at the New York State 4-H office.  Jamila came to Ithaca by way of Cornell University Cooperative Extension of New York City where she served as the NYC CYFAR CITY (Community Improvement Through Youth) Project Coordinator.  For the past four years, Jamila has also served as the Program Manager for a 4-H After-School program offered by CCE/Tompkins County: 4-H Urban Outreach at West Hill. 

Continuing as Commission Secretary, Talyse Hampton is the Assistant Director of Admissions at Cornell University and a Wells College alumna.  Relatively new to our community, Talyse is a member of Big Brothers, Big Sisters, a vocalist with the Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers and local bands, and serves on the board of the Ithaca Youth Bureau.  Of serving on the Commission Talyse writes, “I want to be a part of the Commission that helps to maintain the heartbeat of our community.  When citizens know their human rights are protected, they feel valued, included, respected, empowered, and loved.”

Amos Malone, will continue as Commission Treasurer.  Amos is a lifelong resident of the City of Ithaca and has been active with the Commission for a few years.  “It is very pleasing to me to have the opportunity to serve as the Treasurer,” Amos states.  Amos is also actively engaged with the Commission’s outreach efforts such as tabling at local events and participating in local efforts to improve police-community relations.

Human Rights Commission activities in 2014 included the Ithaca Festival Parade, tabling at numerous local events, and helping organize the recent Department of Justice’s Anti-Racial Profiling training sessions that took place with the Ithaca Police Department. 

The HRC’s “Human Rights Day: A Diversity of Perspectives” event that was postponed due to weather in December 2014 has been rescheduled for February 6, 2015. It will be a joint event with the Office of Human Rights’ Awards Ceremony for the first annual “What Would MLK Say Today?” Poster Contest.  The new combined event is titled “Human Rights Day Revisited.”  More information can be found at

The Commission will also be hosting a county-wide Human Rights Awards Event in April 2015. More about this exciting evening of celebration and community connection is coming soon.

The Tompkins County Human Rights Commission (tcHRC) is a volunteer advisory group appointed by the Tompkins County Legislature for the purpose of fostering mutual understanding and respect among all persons in Tompkins County. The general role of the HRC is to encourage equality, discourage discrimination, and to serve in an advisory role to the County Legislature and the County Office of Human Rights. The HRC can be contacted through the Office of Human Rights: 120 W. Martin Luther King, Jr. Street, Ithaca, NY 14850, 607-277-4080 or