In Attendance: Danielle Tagger-Epstein, Alison Cupp, Marion Anderson, Kelly Grayer, Commissioner Michael Corcoran, Adrienne Mecca
Alison Cupp opened the meeting at 7:35pm. The minutes of the January 18, 2018 meeting were approved.
Alison Cupp reviewed her meeting with Chris Shoemaker, Director of the Rye Free Reading Room, on behalf of ALLY. Placement of a placard of the door of the library, indicating it to be a “safe space” for teens was discussed. The possibility of a May photo exhibit was discussed to launch a “Living Library” program which involves empathetic storytelling to help broaden people’s understanding of community.
Danielle Tagger-Epstein discussed the process by which the Human Rights Commission of New York State develops a Municipal Index for communities. This process implements “markers”, looking at tangible Human Rights initiatives within a community and helps guide planning for improvement. To date, about 500 communities have been rated. Locally, White Plains and Yonkers are involved in this process.
The Facebook page is up and running and articles are being posted. Danielle Tagger-Epstein asked for contributions.
Alison Cupp announced a joint film screening by Heard in Rye and RAISE of a movie about an Autistic swimmer’s participation on a community swim team.
The Commission does not currently have an attendance requirement which may be reviewed at a future date. The Human Rights Commission can have up to nine members and there is currently room for new members.
Danielle Tagger-Epstein informed the Commission of updated policies in the works with regards to harassment. She discussed the need for training for all Rye City employees and employers, as well. The Commission will review complaint procedures for community members.
The Commission continued the discussion of increasing the accessibility of community sports programs to Students with Special Needs. In Chappaqua, AYSO has a model which incorporates a buddy system which has been successful. A visit to this program will be scheduled in April.
This conversation was extended to exploring ways to make community activities more accessible to those with disabilities, such as Halloween Window Painting and the Easter Egg Hunt. Adrienne Mecca will meet with Sally Rogol of Rye Recreation and report back to the group.
The need for another meeting with RAISE, the Special Education Parent Organization, was noted and will be arranged.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:40 pm. The next meeting of the Human Rights Commission will be held on March 22, 2018 at 7:30 pm.
Adrienne Mecca, Recording Secretary