The Baltimore County Human Relations Commission (HRC) was established in 1963 and enforces the County’s antidiscrimination law, Article 29 of the Baltimore County Code, 2003, and the recent amendment to include Bill 49-19 (Source of Income) in November 2019. The commission is governed by an appointed 15-member board of directors and an executive director who is appointed by the County Executive to oversee the Office of the Commission.
The HRC is responsible for a host of activities, holds public meetings and provides additional resources to citizens who believe they have been discriminated against. The HRC also:
- Administers the mediation program
- Conducts studies and surveys
- Cosponsors human relations events
- Develops programs to promote harmony and understanding among all people
- Hosts training workshops
- Provides technical assistance
- Responds to hate and bias incidents
- Recognizes the work of individuals and organizations
- Sponsors forums and banquets
- Works with community groups to address and resolve human relations issues
Meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and are open to the public.
To view upcoming meeting details and documents, select from the list below.
A Baltimore County Human Relations Commissioners Award is given to an individual, not-for-profit group, religious organization or business entity that characterizes the mission, goals and interests of the HRC. The purpose of the awards, given in more than one category, is to heighten public awareness of the need for continued attention and vigilance in the area of human relations, civil rights and human rights.
The Human Relations Award provides a method for giving recognition to living community members as well as other stakeholders who have demonstrated special effort in human relations. It also provides an opportunity for Baltimore County Human Relations Commissioners to provide community relations and outreach on behalf of the Commission to persons or groups that have promoted human and civil rights throughout the local community. It is the intent of the Commission that the awards serve as incentives to citizens and groups to think about, and become active participants in, civil rights, human rights or human relations initiatives throughout the year.
Nominations for the award are made by currently serving Baltimore County Human Relations Commissioners on a required nomination form completed and signed by the Commissioner.
For additional information about the nomination process, call the Commission Office at 410-887-5917 or one of the current Commissioners, seven of whom are appointees of each County Councilperson and represent a specific council district. Eight other Commissioners are appointed by the County Executive and serve as countywide at-large members.
- Commission on Disabilities—Baltimore County believes that a Commission on Disabilities is necessary to advise on the coordination and development of the County's policies for citizens with disabilities.
- Commission for Women—The Commission for Women identifies and advocates for programs, legislation and services to meet the needs of the women of Baltimore County.
- Human Resources—The Baltimore County Office of Human Resources is responsible for recruitment and employment, merit system testing, classification, salary administration, records management and employee training.
- Livability Code Enforcement—The Department of Permits, Approvals and Inspections enforces Baltimore County zoning regulations, the livability code, the investment property act, the Maryland Accessibility Code and weed control.
- Neighborhood Improvement—The Department of Planning, Division of Neighborhood Improvement preserves, stabilizes and enhances the human, physical and economic condition of urban communities through cooperative public-private programs, which address specific neighborhood concerns and foster local self-reliance.
Article 3, Title 3, Subtitle 11 of the Baltimore County Code 2003 establishes and mandates the HRC to investigate complaints of discrimination in the areas of employment, housing, education, public accommodations and finance on the basis of race, color, creed, age, religion, sex (including sexual harassment and pregnancy), physical and mental disability, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. The definitions and procedures for executing the public policy to eliminate discriminatory practices within the County are contained in Article 29 of the Baltimore County Code, 2003. In addition to investigating complaints of discrimination, the Commission, in consultation with the Executive Director, is empowered to:
- Coordinate and conduct trainings and seminars in intergroup relations
- Initiate and conduct surveys, studies, inquiries and public hearings
- Make recommendations on intergroup relations to the County Executive and County Council
- Cooperate with other commissions, agencies, organizations and groups including, but not limited to federal, state and counties
- Provide for conciliation and mediation services
The Commission's jurisdiction covers employment, employers with one or more employees, housing, public accommodations, education and finance related complaints that are only in Baltimore County. The Commission does not have jurisdiction over County government, County Board of Education or community colleges.