Free COVID-19 Testing June 17 and June 18

The Commonwealth is urging anyone who has attended a large gathering in the past two weeks to get tested for COVID-19. This testing will be provided at no cost to you.

Free COVID-19 Testing June 17 and June 18

June 15, 2020 – Governor Baker announced free COVID-19 testing for the public at 50 different locations across the state on Wednesday, June 17th and Thursday, June 18th.

The testing is open to everyone, but it is especially important for anyone that has attended a large gathering recently.

On Cape Cod testing is available at:


  • Outer Cape Health Services in Harwichport, Wellfleet, and Provincetown.  Testing hours will be 8am to 7pm on both days at the Provincetown Health Center at 49 Harry Kemp Way, the Wellfleet Health Center at 3130 State Highway Route 6, and the Harwich Port Health Center at 710 Route 28. Individuals who wish to be tested are asked to first call the OCHS free Covid-19 testing line at 508-905-2801 to register ahead of time. Registrants must provide their name, date of birth and contact telephone number. Test results will be provided to each participant confidentially. Participants are encouraged to share their results with their doctors.

More information and a list of all sites where you can be tested for free in Massachusetts on June 17th and 18th is  available at

Congratulations Human Rights Academy Class of 2020

The Barnstable County Human Rights Advisory Commission wishes to congratulate graduating seniors in the Barnstable County Human Rights Academy this year! As these students embark on an exciting new phase in their lives, the Academy hopes that they will continue to advocate for human rights, and continue to change the world for the better.
A special thank you to the extraordinary contributions of all the advisors who worked to make their Human Rights Clubs a rewarding experience for their students.
DID YOU KNOW? High schools across Cape Cod participate in the Human Rights Academy, associated with the Barnstable County Human Rights Advisory Commission, whereby students promote awareness and respect for people’s human rights and freedoms.

Digital Tickets Available for the Human Rights Watch Film Festival – June 11 – 20

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH FILM FESTIVAL is June 11 – 20. Digital tickets are available at

For more than 40 years, Human Rights Watch has defended people at risk of abuse by investigating abuses scrupulously, exposing the facts widely, and relentlessly pressing those in power for change that respects rights. Researchers examine situations in some 90 countries around the world functioning as investigators, journalists, and advocates.

Recently marking their 30th Anniversary and currently screening films in over 20 cities around the world, the Human Rights Watch Film Festival (HRWFF) bears witness to human rights violations in direct storytelling and exposé form, and creates a forum for courageous individuals on both sides of the lens to empower audiences with the knowledge that personal commitment can make a difference. In 30 years HRWFF has showcased over 720 films at our global festivals.


Our Region is Talking: Police Chiefs from Cape Cod and Nantucket, Barnstable County Human Rights Advisory Commission and Cape Community Leaders Respond to George Floyd’s Murder and Widespread Civil Unrest

Yesterday, on a Zoom call initiated by Frank Frederickson, Yarmouth Police Chief and President of the Cape and Islands Police Chiefs Association, Police Chiefs from the 15 Cape towns, Nantucket and the Barnstable Human Rights Advisory Commission (HRAC) led a call to discuss the murder of George Floyd.  Community leaders across the Cape were invited to join the conversation, totaling over 50 participants.

The Chiefs wanted to strongly express that their police departments do not condone the type of lawlessness witnessed in the George Floyd case and reaffirmed that they continually take steps to ensure that police on Cape Cod and Nantucket have a community-friendly approach.

Chatham Police Chief Mark Pawlina said he likes to think of his officers’ jobs as one of customer service and communicates that regularly with his department.  They see their role as guardians of the public, not agents of control.

Town of Barnstable Police Chief Matthew Sonnabend explained the extensive training that their officers undergo on an ongoing basis. He talked about the training they receive on a myriad of subjects, including racial discrimination, sexual assault, bullying, as well as the efforts they take to recognize and address the high stress their officers can experience.  Chief Sonnabend and several other Chiefs also detailed the steps they take during the hiring process to bring in the best people.

During the hour and a half call, participants conducted a frank exchange of concerns and ideas to enhance and improve community relations.

The Human Rights Advisory Commission anticipates that this exchange will continue on an ongoing basis.  The HRAC wishes to extend its sincere gratitude to Chief Frederickson and all the other Police Chiefs for putting the meeting together.

Amanda DaCruz Receives Malcolm McDowell Award

In an impromptu ceremony in Bourne, members of the Barnstable County Human Rights Advisory Commission, present Amanda DaCruz, with the Malcolm McDowell award. Pictured below from left to right, Susan Quinones, Human Rights Coordinator; Patricia Oshman and Wendy Bierwirth, members of the Advisory Commission; McDowell Award recipient, Amanda DaCruz, with her mother, Marcia DaCruz.  Read more about Ms. DaCruz and the Malcolm McDowell Award HERE.

Celebrating Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

This is Asian/Pacific American Heritage month.  For books on the Asian/Pacific American experience go to:

New Books on Asian and Pacific American History and Life

This Asian/Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month, news of mounting discrimination and violence against Asian Americans has been drawing increased attention to the experiences of this community, past and present. As shutdowns and social distancing recommendations lead Americans to spend more time at home, now is the perfect time to deepen our understanding of the richness of Asian American and Pacific Islander American history, as well as the community’s immense resilience and creativity. The following five books released within the last year offer a rich complement to Facing History’s curricular materials for any educator eager to learn more about the struggles, resilience, and triumphs of APA peoples.


Barnstable County Human Rights Advisory Commission Announces Winner of Malcolm McDowell Award

Amanda DaCruz, graduating senior from Sturgis Charter Public School (East), has been named as the recipient of the Annual Malcolm McDowell Award 2020.

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


(Barnstable, MA – May 8, 2020) – The Barnstable County Human Rights Advisory Commission (HRAC) has named Amanda DaCruz, a graduating senior from Sturgis Charter Public School (East), as the recipient of the Annual Malcolm McDowell Award.  The award, named after human rights activist and former BCHRAC member Malcolm McDowell, comes with a $500 gift certificate.

Amanda DaCruz was selected as the recipient of the 2020 award because of her demonstrated leadership, initiative, and dedication to improving the human rights in Barnstable County.  Amanda will be attending Roger Williams University in Rhode Island this fall, where she plans on combining her interests in math, art, and physics to pursue a career in architecture.

Kathleen McDowell, widow of Malcolm McDowell, said, “Congratulations Amanda.  I am truly impressed and excited to hear about your involvement with the Human Rights Academy.  I wish you every success at Roger Williams University and have no doubt that you will continue to be an advocate, activist, and a leader in your community.

Mark Aldo, advisor of the East Sturgis Human Rights Club, said, “Amanda’s passion and dedication to human rights are unparalleled. I have not seen a student so dedicated to human rights in my years at Sturgis. Amanda’s empathy is beyond her years. When you couple this with her passion, dedication, and strong communication skills, you get a true community leader.”

In announcing the award, Alan Milsted, Chair of the HRAC said, “We congratulate Amanda DaCruz as the recipient of this year’s Malcolm McDowell Award! She is young black woman, whose passion, commitment, courage, and leadership in the Sturgis Charter Public School community has challenged her peers and the school’s leadership to understand and respond positively to a range of human rights issues. Amanda is the latest young person whose contributions to the BCHRAC’s Human Rights Academy have been recognized as exceptional.  We wish her well and look forward to hearing of her future accomplishments.”

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