Human Relations Commission


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 age, race, national origin, color, disability, education, familial status, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, height, marital status, religion, source of income, or weight. Therefore, in 1966, the City of Holland created the Human Relations Commission. The Human Relations Commission (HRC) is comprised of 9 members broadly representative of the City’s population who are appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the City Council.

Regular Meetings

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

NOTE: The December 21, 2023 meeting of the Human Relations Commission has been rescheduled to December 14, 2023. 

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.


The Human Relations Commission (HRC) is comprised of volunteers dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion and advocating for all residents of Holland. Commissioners are appointed by the Mayor and serve for 3-year terms. City residency is required.  Learn more about serving on the HRC and submit your application.

Current Members

  • Catherine Ristola Bass, Chair
  • Keiffer Sestric
  • Terry DeYoung
  • Abigail Klomparens
  • Tory Fahrion
  • Jeff Minkus
  • Robert Hamilton
  • Vacant
  • Vacant

City Staff

  • Esther Fifelski, Director, Human Relations Department 
  • David Hoekstra, City Council Liaison

Student Representatives

  • Yanyssa Ochoa
  • Angel Venegas

Mission Statement

A community where all residents know they are honored, valued, and unhindered by bias, misunderstanding, and conflict.

Vision Statement

The Holland Human Relations Commission promotes diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in housing, education, employment, and public service.  We pursue a community of belonging for all residents, with consideration for groups that are underrepresented, underserved, or marginalized.

Value Statement

With a collaborative spirit, from a humble posture of learning and respectful dialogue, we serve with commitment, compassion, and civility.  We seek the common good.

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 the 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 residents 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.


  • Education/Employment
  • Housing/Government/Community Relations


  • Community Network for Education