Union County Human Relations Commission

Upcoming Events

VIRTUAL ZOOM PRESENTATION – NJ Division on Civil Rights presents Understanding The Law Against Discrimination  Tuesday, June 4th — 6:30PM to 7:45PM

2025 Unity Achievement Award Nominations are Open!

Nomination Deadline:  Wednesday, December 18, 2024.

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Congratulonaions to our 2023 Unity Achievement Award Recipients!

  • COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION — New Providence Intergenerational Club members Mitchell Toomey, Steven Parker, Jack Lepre, Ben Fiscelli, and creator Konstantin Munoz 
  • SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT — Adrienne Robertiello, Special Health Care/Autism Educator, Children’s Specialized Hospital   
  • INDIVIDUAL — Cindy Hannen, Chair, Cranford Interfaith Human Relations Committee 
  • SPECIAL RECOGNITION — former UCHRC Commissioner Nora Mislan (Co-Chair 2016-2018)         
  • EDUCATOR — Lynn Randle, Director of Guidance, Hillside High School
  • SPECIAL RECOGNITION — UCHRC Commissioner Martin Dickerson, Co-Chair 2021-2023         
  • BUSINESS ENTERPRISE — John Samsel/Samsel and Associates Real Estate Services          

Third Row.

  • NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION— Rahway Food for Friends, President Patricia Carter   
  • PUBLIC SAFETY — Union County Police Department Officer-In-Charge Captain (now Chief) Martin Mogensen, accepting on behalf of the 160 employees of the Union County Department of Public Safety for their incredible response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Fourth Row.

  • SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT— Greg Muller, Union County Crisis Intervention Team Member
  • LAW ENFORCEMENT— Detective Alex Lopez, Union County Prosecutor’s Office
  • SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT— Union County Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor Doreen Yanik (ret.)

Top Row

  • MILITARY/VETERAN — Jay “Doc” Boxwell, United States Navy Veteran, State Commander of the New Jersey Veterans of Foreign Wars, and former Commander of Cranford V.F.W. All-American Post 335
  • BUSINESS ENTERPRISE — Dr. Patrick Smith/Smith Chiropractic Association
  • SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT — Detective Dariusz Tokarz, Union County Prosecutor’s Office 


  • STUDENT — Michael Richards, Lamberts Mill Academy.  His award was presented on Wednesday, May 10th at the Academy.
  • COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION — New Providence Intergenerational Club member Samantha Zack   
  • PUBLIC SERVICE — the 160 employees of the Union County Department of Public Safety, who were all invited to attend a special departmental presentation on Thursday, May 4th at the Public Safety Building in Westfield.

Click here for photo from the event

UCHRC’s 2020 Unity Achievement Award

a table of awards
a group of people standing on a staircase for a photo

The UCHRC’s 2020 Unity Achievement Award recipients were honored on Thursday, June 9th at a reception held in the Kean University STEM Building Atrium.

  • Front row from left:  H. Edward Davenport, Cranford’s TV-35; Juanita Nelson (Mother of posthumous honoree Westfield High School Principal Dr. Derrick Nelson).
  • Second row: Emmy Asinelli accepting award for Dr. Michael Skolnick DMD; Morgan K. Nelson (Dr. Nelson’s daughter).
  • Third Row:  Patricia Bixel, Director, StarFish Food Pantry of Plainfield;  Theresa Cowing, Board Secretary, Moms Helping Moms Foundation; Sheronda Jackson (Dr. Derrick Nelson’s fiance);
  • Fourth Row:  Miguel Edgehill, Covenant United Methodist Church of Plainfield;  Allison Sanchez, Educational Services Commission of New Jersey’s Adult Community Services; Jennifer Popper, Editor, TAPinto Plainfield.
  • Back Row:  Heroes4Heroes Superhero / Retired Union County Department of Corrections Officer Peter Femia; Retired Springfield Police Lieutenant Michael McNany and Retired Springfield Police Sgt. Edward McNany, McNany Charitable Foundation Inc.
  • Not pictured:  WWII Navy Veteran Daniel Sullivan (presented posthumously);  Sally and Mike Cursi, Shining Stars Network;  Joyce Benz, Program Director, Union County Intensive Family Support Services, Mental Health Association in New Jersey; Mallory Banks, Scotch Plains-Fanwood;  Rabbi Avi Friedman, Congregation Ohr Shalom/Summit Jewish Community Center;  Westfield Public Schools Supervisor of Guidance Maureen Mazzarese;  former Westfield Police Officer Tiffany Kenny;  SCP Youth Soccer Inc. founders Rodrigo DaSilva and Steven Valeira; and Dr. Derrrick Nelson’s father, Willie Nelson.
  • Click here for photos

About the UCHRC


The Union County Human Relations Commission (UCHRC) was created by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office in 1991.

The Commission serves to promote and encourage a more peaceful and ecumenical society in Union County, by providing support to bias crime victims who are targets of a crime because of their race, creed, color, religion, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity/expression, socio-economic status, or physical or mental challenges, and by intervening to eradicate the conditions that ultimately cause them.  

The UCHRC addresses the issues of prejudice, bias and racism and their impact on our local schools, workplaces and neighborhoods.   

Our mission, and the focus of our efforts and activities, is to actively encourage, develop, promote and strengthen respect for human rights and cultural diversity among the people of Union County. 

Simply stated, the UCHRC celebrates the richness of life that cultural diversity brings to our communities and ourselves.

The Commission consists of a group of Union County residents from diverse personal and professional backgrounds who volunteer their time to serve.

For the past two decades, the Union County Human Relations Commission has continued to earn our statewide reputation of being a Commission that is progressive, interested and involved. 

Being a group of like-minded volunteers, we are constrained by the resources and time available among us.

Despite our sparse resources, we continue to use our leverage to gain the broadest exposure and impact. 

Meetings are held every other month on Monday evening at the John H. Stamler Police Academy in Scotch Plains.  UCHRC Sub-Committees meet as needed to address and implement specific projects. 

For more information, please contact Commissioner/Recording Secretary Karen E. Positan by email at Karen.Positan@UCPO.org.

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