Human Relations Commission

Regular Meetings

  • 6 p.m.
  • 3rd Thursday of every month
  • City Hall
    270 S River Avenue
    Holland, MI 49423

These are public meetings and all residents are encouraged to attend. Auxiliary aide services can be made available for persons with hearing and/or visual impairments for these meetings by calling our office 48 hours prior to the meeting dates.

Members

The Human Relations Commission (HRC) currently has vacancies on the Commission. City Residents interested in serving on the Human Relations Commission may contact the Human Relations Department at 616-355-1328 to complete an application to serve on City boards or commissions.

  • Keiffer Sestric, Chair
  • Mishelle Bakewell
  • Virginia Greenlee
  • Michelle Slikkers
  • Vicki-Lynn Holmes
  • Catherine Ristola Bass
  • Cheri Smith

City Staff

  • Esther Fifelski, HRC/IRC Coordinator
  • Wayne Klomparens, City Council Liaison


Student Representatives

  • Abbie Mulder


Overview

The City of Holland recognizes the inherent right of its inhabitants to strive to fulfill their goals and aspirations unhindered by discrimination based on or resulting from considerations of race, creed, handicap, educational association, color, sex, age, marital status, national origin or association. Therefore, in 1966, the City of Holland created the Human Relations Commission. The HRC is comprised of 9 members broadly representative of the City's population who are appointed by the Mayor with approval of City Council.

Mission Statement

The Holland Human Relations Commission exists to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in housing, education, employment and public service.  We advocate for all citizens, with special care to under-served communities.  We do this through research, advocacy, education, mediation, and empowerment.

Vision

A place where all residents are honored and empowered to become productive members of the community, unhindered by bias, misunderstanding, and conflict.

Values

  • Serving with a heart for diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Serving for the common good: Putting aside individual interests.
  • Serving with civil engagement that allows for open dialogue and differing opinions.
  • Serving with a collaborative spirit, which includes team participation and cooperation.
  • Serving with commitment and reliability. 

Activities of the HRC

  • Encourage, receive, investigate, evaluate and conciliate complaints from any person or group, of discrimination contrary to the public policy and make known to such person or group the procedures which may be used to complain of such discrimination.
  • Make investigations and studies and conduct research to gather statistics or data which will aid in substantiating need for programs and promoting meaningful social change in accordance with public policy.
  • Promote amicable relations and mutual respect between and among the racial, cultural, religious and other groups within the greater city community, and discourage discrimination practices toward or within any such groups.
  • Promote equal opportunity, counter results of past discrimination, initiate action necessary to effectuate the public policy and concern itself with the cultural, educational, and other matters contributing to a harmonious society.
  • Cooperate with and aid in the organization of activities of other public and private organizations in efforts to improve relationships and conditions among the citizens of the greater city area.
  • Advise and consult with the City Council and other public or quasi-public bodies on matters within its scope of authority.
  • Assemble, analyze and disseminate factual data, information and materials of educational value relating to group relations.

Sub-Committees

The HRC has 2 sub-committees:

  • Education/Employment
  • Housing/Government/Community Relations

Network

The HRC has a network:

  • Community Network for Education