ICRC Forms Partnership with Terre Haute Human Relations Commission

Human Rights Day 2010

Terre Haute - The State of Indiana Civil Rights Commission (ICRC) and the City of Terre Haute Human Relations Commission (HRC) announced Monday a new partnership aimed at enhancing service for Hoosiers throughout the western part of the state.

The newly formalized agreement involves strategic collaborations that will enable the local agency to rely upon state resources to resolve discrimination claims in Terre Haute while continuing to mediate local disputes. Jamal L. Smith, Executive Director of the ICRC, applauded the partnership as an opportunity to allow a thriving local agency to continue its mission of providing community-focused service while utilizing state resources.

“I have been so impressed with the work that Jeff Lorick has done here in Terre Haute, the way he knows this community, and the passion he brings to his often difficult charge,” said Smith. “We’ve ironed out a partnership that makes the most of available resources and improves our collective ability to efficiently and effectively protect the civil rights of individuals in this area.”

Lorick, HRC Director, echoed Smith’s sentiments and further stated that both local and state agencies have important responsibilities in protecting civil rights.

“As I work with folks in this community every day, I see the need for greater education and protection for everyone,” Lorick said. “We’ve got to find a way to maximize our ability to serve the public, and this type of state and local partnership will enable us to do just that. This is the focus of our commission, one to which we are totally committed.”

This marks a significant step in ensuring Terre Haute residents receive timely resolution to their claims of discrimination and is similar to other such agreements being formalized by the ICRC throughout Indiana. Among stipulations as part of the partnership, the ICRC and HRC will seek to:

-Provide education and training opportunities to individuals, businesses, local public agencies and elected officials, and private community organizations in Vigo and surrounding counties

-Partner to increase awareness about civil rights protections and recourse options for individuals facing discrimination

-Carry out public seminars and town hall meetings to obtain feedback from the public on important civil rights issues

-Collaborate to investigate and, if necessary, litigate cases of discrimination throughout the Terre Haute region

The Indiana Civil Rights Commission enforces the Indiana civil rights laws and provides quality education and services to the public in an effort to ensure equal opportunity for all Hoosiers and visitors to the State of Indiana. For more information, contact Brad Meadows, ICRC Communications Specialist, at (317) 232-2651.