BCHRAC Announce Human Rights Awards at Annual Breakfast

2020 Human Rights Awards Breakfast on December 10, 2020 at 8:30 am

Link for the YouTube live-stream:

In addition to our Rosenthal, Cornerstone and Tim McCarthy Awards, we will be honoring our local Unsung Heroes.

This special recognition will go to frontline workers providing essential services during the pandemic.


Media Contact:  Susan Quinones, Barnstable County Human Rights Coordinator  or (508) 375-6611


(Barnstable, MA – December 8, 2020) – The Barnstable County Human Rights Advisory Commission (HRAC) will present its Human Right Awards at the Annual HRAC Awards Breakfast, on Thursday, December 10, 2020 from 8:30 am to 10:30 am. The Keynote Speaker for the event is Krissie Williams, educator and founder of Barnstable Ally Group.

The Rosenthal Community Champion Award is given to individuals in the public sector who have fostered and supported human rights, concepts, and ideals. This year’s recipients are Sean O’Brien and Dierdre Arvidson.

The Cornerstone Award is given to individuals who have fostered and supported human rights, concepts, and ideals. This year’s recipients are Larry and Atsuko Fish.

The Tim McCarthy Human Rights Champion Award is given to an individual or organization working to promote human rights. This year’s recipients are Nauset H.S. Human Rights Group and Faculty Advisor Lisa Brown

BCHRAC 2020 Unsung Heroes: Celebrating the Strength of our Communities 

Champ Homes Inc.Adam Burnett, and staff

Elder Services Cape Cod and Islands: Meals on Wheels volunteers AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod, mobile outreach workers, drop-in center staff, case managers outreach specialists, volunteers, and all support staff

YMCA, Children’s Crossing Child Care Program, all staff, childcare workers, and volunteers

Community Health Center of Cape Cod, all staff

League of Women Voters Cape Cod and Falmouth, Voter Services committees members

Cape Cod Commission US Census workers

Cape Cod USP mail carriers and office workers /FedEx, UPS drivers and warehouse workers

Duffy Health Center, all staff

Tara Vargas Wallace, Amplify POC Cape Cod, Executive Director and Founder

Cape Cod Council of Churches/ Faith’s Family Kitchen, Jeni Wheeler, staff, and volunteers

Cape Cod Health Care, Walgreens, and CVS pharmacies employees 

Barnstable Ally Group and founder Krissie Williams 

Visiting Nurse Association of Cape Cod, Cape Cod Health Care staff (including nurses, licensed therapists, hospice workers and health care aides

The Woodlands at Pleasant Bay Assisted Living residence staff in Brewster (including all staff)

Pleasant Bay Skilled Nursing & Rehab staff

Airport Taxi Medical transport drivers, Medical transportation services

Stop and Shop, Shaw’s, Trader Joe’s and local markets, grocery workers

Staff of Independence House

Please read about these recipients and their contribution to human rights on Cape Cod in 2020 at

This is a free event, open to the public, online registration is required. To register click here

ABOUT THE BARNSTABLE COUNTY HUMAN RIGHTS ADVISORY COMMISSION: The mission of the Human Rights Advisory Commission is to promote equal opportunity for all persons of Barnstable County regardless of race, color, religious creed, national origin, gender, age, ancestry, sexual or affectional preference marital, family or military status, source of income, neighborhood or disability, where unlawful discrimination exists in housing, employment, education, public accommodations, town or county services, insurance, banking, credit and health care.  Learn more at



No One “White” Way to Organize: Conversations with White Anti-Racist Organizers – Webinar Series

Join People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB) for No One “White” Way to Organize: Conversations with White Anti-Racist Organizers, a series of 5 virtual sessions – each lasting 1-½ hours – that will take place between July 12-18, 2020. These events are part of Liberation Rising, a fundraiser for The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB).

This series of virtual community events not just for white anti-racist organizers, but also for white people who want to do something to undo racism and who may be new to organizing or to racial justice work. Each session will begin with a dialogue between or among white organizers about their journeys, and what it means to be committed anti-racist organizers.

REGISTER TODAY FOR ANY OR ALL OF THESE FREE SESSIONS! Pre-registration is required. Please register here.

We will do our best to record and send out all the sessions to folks who register.  HOWEVER, WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO PARTICIPATE IN AS MANY OF THE SESSIONS AS YOU LIKE!


*Sunday, July 12th, 4:00pm-5:30pm East — Organizing Our Families: A Conversation with Trish Farley & Mary Farley

*Tuesday, July 14th, 6:30pm-8:00pm East — Educating and Being Educated: A Conversation with Chris Black & Steve Quester

*Wednesday, July 15th, 6:30pm-8:00pm East — Journeys Into the Work: A Conversation with Bonnie Cushing & Stoop Nilsson

*Thursday, July 16th, 6:30pm-8:00pm East — Taking Leadership from People of Color: A Conversation with Pat Maher & McKay Sharpe

*Saturday, July 18th, 10:00-11:30am East — An Antiracist Family: A Conversation with Margery Freeman, David Billings and their children

DONATIONS: While the sessions are free, we ask that you make a contribution to PISAB. If you can, please consider becoming a monthly PISAB donor to sustain the work of Undoing Racism!

WHO WE ARE:For 40 years, PISAB has been offering Undoing Racism & Community Organizing workshops and supporting groups and institutions as they seek to build a society free of racism. PISAB is People of Color-led and strives to maintain accountability to communities most impacted by racism.PISAB is group of white anti-racist organizers from the Northeast Region of the U.S. who are part of the multiracial collective of PISAB.  We were inspired to organize this community conversation series because of our connection with PISAB, which gives us an analysis of racism plus the fortitude and strength to understand our present relationship to our past, as individuals and as a society.

PFLAG Cape Cod’s Virtual Support Meeting TONIGHT March 30 7PM – 8PM

These past few weeks have proven to be a challenging time for all of us, and adhering to social distancing guidelines has made it more difficult to maintain connections with family members, friends, and coworkers. And for those of you who have come to depend on the monthly PFLAG support meetings, the loss of that connection has likely added more stress and anxiety, especially for those of us with few or no options on where to turn for support.

With that in mind, PFLAG Cape Cod is pleased to announce that we will be hosting our first ever “virtual support meeting” on Monday, March 30th from 7:00-8:00 pm (until 8:30 if needed) using the Google Meet platform (a Google email account is not required).

Although nothing compares to the in-person support meetings held in Brewster and Barnstable, until those meetings resume, we hope this opportunity will help fill the void. So no matter where you are, whether on-Cape or off, you can now participate in our support meetings… instructions on how to join are below!

PFLAG Cape Cod’s Virtual Support Meeting
Monday, March 30th
7:00 – 8:00 pm

(until 8:30 if needed)

There are two ways to join the meeting:

  • via dial-in with a mobile phone or landline/home phone (for audio only) by dialing 979-429-2063, and then entering the P.I.N. 587 484 772# when prompted

If you plan to join the meeting via the internet with a smartphone (for audio and optional video), you may be asked to download/install the free Google Meet app after clicking the link above.

The meeting will begin at 7:00 pm, although you are encouraged to join as early as 6:45 pm in order to resolve any technical issues you may experience. And please be aware that even if you join the meeting via the internet, you can easily turn off the camera/video feature at any time (the meeting facilitator, Joe, and other participants who are using the video feature will still be visible to you).

Finally, in order to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of those participating in the virtual support meeting, please join in from a private area of your home and/or wear earbuds or headphones… thank you.

PFLAG Cape Cod looks forward to “meeting” with you for support and community!

HRAC Attends White Ribbon Day to Raise Awareness about Violence Against Women

On Thursday, March 5, 2020, the Barnstable County Human Rights Advisory Commission participated in White Ribbon Day at Cape Cod Community College.  The event was sponsored by Independence House, Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office and the Yarmouth Police Department, to raise awareness about violence against women.   On this day individuals throughout MA, are encouraged to promise to be part of the solution in ending violence against women.


Calling all Men to Help End Violence Against Women

Annual Cape Cod White Ribbon Day Calls for Action Against Domestic Violence

From this day forward, I promise to be a part of the solution in ending violence against women.

The 8th annual Cape Cod White Ribbon Day will take place on March 5th, serving as a call for men and boys to take action against domestic violence.

Independence House, Yarmouth Police and the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office are collaborating on the annual event at Cape Cod Community College where men will pledge not to commit violence against women and children.

Men of all ages are encouraged to attend the event which creates awareness among the males in our community about the issue of men’s violence against women and gender based violence, along with taking action to be part of the solution.

Members of the Cape Cod Community College police department and the Yarmouth, Barnstable and other Cape Cod police departments will be taking part.

The event is part of the 13th annual Statewide Commonwealth of Massachusetts White Ribbon Day.

WHEN: March 5, 2020 t from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM at Cape Cod Community College cafeteria. The public is invited, there is no charge.

Appearances by:

Yarmouth Chief of Police Frank Frederickson

Independence House Executive Director Lysetta Hurge-Putnam

Cape & Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe

Barnstable Chief of Police Matthew Sonnabend

Cape & Islands Assistant District Attorney Michael Patterson

State Representative Timothy Whelan

State Representative Will Crocker

Breakout Session (Light Lunch provided)


Human Rights Commission Hosts Human Rights International Day Event

On Monday, December 10, 2018 the Barnstable County Human Rights Commission hosted a gathering at the Hyannis Golf Course to celebrate International Human Rights Day. The event also honored those in our community who work diligently to support human rights for all.

Barnstable County Administrator Jack Yunits, Jr. welcomes attendees.
HRC presented the Rosenthal Community Champion Award to Dan Wolf. This award is given to those in the public sector who have fostered and supported human rights, concepts and ideals, and worked to eliminate discrimination.

The Cornerstone Award was presented to Special Olympics Massachusetts Cape Cod Chapter, which is celebrating its 50h
anniversary, and is given to either individuals or groups recognized by their communities who work extensively to protect human rights.
This year the event was held in memory of Scoba Rhodes, who passed away in June of this year.

Welcome and Introductions Alan Milsted, Chair – Barnstable County Human Rights
Commission Jack Yunits, Jr. – Barnstable County Administrator
Commemoration of the late Scoba F. Rhodes, Jr.
Keynote address: Gretchen Arvanitopoulos, President of Cape Organization for Rights of the Disabled
Cornerstone Award: Special Olympics, Massachusetts – Cape Cod Chapter Presented by Alan Milsted
Rosenthal Award: Dan Wolf Presented by Dave Schropfer
Citations: Julian Cyr State Representative David Vieira 3rd Barnstable District Representatives of: Board of County Commissioners

Nauset High Senior Receives Human Rights Award

Barnstable: June 1, 2017 – At a recent Barnstable County Commission meeting, the Malcolm McDowell Human Rights Award was presented to Matthew West, a senior at Nauset High School. He also received a Congressional Citation at the ceremony.

The Malcolm McDowell Award is named in honor of a former Commissioner who was instrumental in the creation and development of the organization’s Human Rights Academy. This project annually provides local public and private school students with intensive education and experience in Human Rights issues. Seventeen area schools are currently participating in the program. Matthew has been involved in the Academy for the past five years and was recently elected President of the Nauset Human Rights Academy.

Matthew has held leadership positions in several community organizations including Be The Change and Nauset Together We Can. He has been involved in extensive volunteer work in Haiti and will be returning there this summer. He has participated in several local fundraising projects to support children in Haiti.

In a moving acceptance speech, Matthew credited the HRA with fostering his leadership and public speaking skills. He will enter Missouri’s Webster College in September where he will major in International Relations.

The presentation event was attended by several current and former Human Rights Commissioners and Mrs. Malcolm McDowell who offered her personal congratulations and commended Matthew for his many accomplishments.

The Barnstable County Commission for Human Rights was established by the Assembly of Delegates to promote equal opportunity in housing, employment, education, public accommodations and County Services for all persons in the county. The volunteer board is committed to the concept that “…Human Rights are not the rights that are given to you. Human Rights are the rights that cannot be taken away.”