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New Leadership for Human Rights Advisory Commission for 2021

February 11, 2021 – Barnstable, MA – The Barnstable County Human Rights Advisory Commission has new leadership for 2021. Dr. Kate Epperly, who was the immediate past Vice Chair to the Board, was voted in as Chair. Advisory member, Patricia Oshman, was elected to Vice-Chair.

Rev. Dr. Kate Epperly A lifelong community organizer and human rights advocate, Rev. Dr. Kate Epperly is an ordained pastor who has served congregations in California, Arizona, Washington DC, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. She retired in January after serving 7 years as Minister for Advocacy and Justice for Families and Children of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) denomination.

Rev. Dr. Epperly served 3 years as Minister of Christian Union Church in North Truro, served as Coordinator of the Cape Cod Fellowship of Reconciliation, and was active in the Nauset Interfaith Association and its Refugee Support Team. Rev. Dr. Epperly currently serves on the Steering Committee of Barnstable No Place for Hate, and the Cape Cod Council of Churches Migrant and Refugee Committee. She is a member of the Cape Cod Grandmother’s Against Gun Violence, the Cape Cod NAACP, and the Cape Women’s Coalition and PEO Chapter AL.

Patricia (Trish) Oshman Born in São Paulo, Brazil, Vice-Chair Patricia Oshman came to the U.S. in 2001. After studying Law and Economy at 2 Brazilian Universities, she received a B.A. from Curry College in 2013. Trish taught Portuguese at Falmouth High School and currently teaches at Mass Maritime Academy. She works as a shelter advocate at Independence House in Hyannis. A community activist, Trish developed a Portuguese enrichment program at East Falmouth elementary school. She is co-chair of Falmouth’s Affirmative Action and Diversity committee and sits on the Board of the Cape Cod Cape Verdean Museum and Cultural Center, a 501(C)(3) that disseminates knowledge about Cape Verdean and broader Lusophone culture.

Oshman helps organize the annual Human Rights Academy that brings students together to heighten awareness of human rights issues and encourage participation in their own schools’ projects promoting human rights. Each of the fall and spring Academy gatherings attract approximately 100 Cape-wide high school students.

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