Union County Human Relations Commission

2023 Unity Achievement Award Nominations are Open!

Nomination Deadline:  Thursday, December 22, 2022.

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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.

2020 Unity Achievement Award Photo Book

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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 kpositan@ucnj.org, or by phone at 908-527-4783, or send an email to uchrc@ucnj.org.