“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home — so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. […] Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

Our Mission

The Mission of the BCHRAC is to uphold, promote and protect the inherent dignity and inalienable rights of individuals in Barnstable County.

What We Do

Text: The Barnstable County Human Rights Advisory Commission believes that all persons living, working, and visiting Barnstable County are entitled to a social and legal order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in local and state legal frameworks as well as human rights instruments are fully realized. Centering its efforts on the Barnstable County Community, the Advisory Commission members strive to realize this goal by

  • Cultivating an atmosphere of mutual understanding of the county’s cultural and social diversity
  • Driving community awareness and understanding of the County’s diverse cultures
  • Nurturing bridges that connect like-minded individuals and groups
  • Serving as a forum for human rights education and resources
  • Recognizing the outstanding actions of individuals
  • Providing the public with an outlet for identifying and addressing human rights concerns within Barnstable County and, where possible, assisting in the resolution of complaints
  • Enlisting the cooperation and support of racial, religious, ethnic, civic, fraternal, benevolent, and private and public agencies in eliminating unlawful discrimination

Our History

The Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates established the Barnstable County Human Rights Commission in 2007, a county level body tasked with representing human rights interests the county. In June 2919, with the approval of Ordinance 19-10, the Commission was restructured as an advisory one, the Commission was renamed the Barnstable County Human Rights Advisory Commission, and a the role of Human Rights Coordinator was created. Ordinance 19-10 replaced all prior ordinances.