A new human rights group has started up in Juneau. The as-yet unnamed organization is a public outreach group announced Thursday that was formed to go beyond the work done by the Juneau Human Rights Commission to promote respect and equality.
“The reason for forming a new group is to bring a broader set of community members to represent one another with issues of equity,” said facilitator Alavini Lata.
Lata said the group’s goals include battling various problems, like discrimination and bullying, plus issues of respect in Juneau. It’s also intended to develop programs for such issues and facilitate communication between organizations and those whose different viewpoints that have led to difficulties throughout the city. He said this will also be a place for support and advocacy for victims of hate or discrimination.
Lata said this group will act completely independently of the Juneau Human Rights Commission, which consists of seven members appointed by the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly. Lata is also on the commission.
He said the reason for this new group is to have greater representation of the different people living here. He said that because CBJ has standards the commission must abide by, an outside human rights organization is necessary to better help the community’s needs and be more proactive.
“Basically, we needed to form a group that’s more incorporative of the community,” he said.
He said there have been incidents brought up that the commission has been able to act upon, but “not fully.” He hopes this group will remedy that.
The group is open to participation. Lata said a diverse variety of are people on board, including those from different ethnic groups, religions and unions.
Lata said one of the first priorities for the group is to assign an official name. This will be a topic at its next meeting, at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 10, at the Downtown Library.
“Naming it will help give them the opportunity to feel like part of the community. They can gain awareness of what the group is doing and participate,” Lata said.
Inquiries about this human rights group can be directed to Lata at email@example.com.
• Contact reporter Jonathan Grass at 523-2276 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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