Keene Human Rights Committee wants to hear from you

Oct. 29—Keene's Human Rights Committee is looking for input on community needs pertaining to diversity, equity and inclusion.

The feedback will help the committee plan educational events geared toward its core principles, according to Andy Bohannon, the city's parks, recreation and facilities director. These include social justice, nonviolence and multiculturalism.

Bohannon, the committee's staff liaison, said the panel wants to better connect with constituents and give community members an opportunity to reach out.

Those wishing to give input can contact him at

Alternatively, Sofia Cunha-Vasconcelos, the committee's chairwoman, said people can give input in person at one of the committee's monthly meetings.

Cunha-Vasconcelos said this input might come in the form of observations of the community or behavior that might concern them, or information about themselves and their culture they would like others to know.

"To support Keene in being a community where all feel safe and welcome, we need to be informed about where that is not happening for citizens," she said in an email Friday.

Each January, the Human Rights Committee hosts a lecture honoring Martin Luther King Jr. and Jonathan Daniels, a Keene native who participated in the Civil Rights movement and died protecting a Black teenager from gunfire. The group has also been a partner of the Keene International Festival each year.

"There may be other cultural events that we're not aware of, and there could be some opportunity for collaboration stemming from feedback," Bohannon said. "I think there's a lot of voices here in Keene not being heard or they do not know the proper avenues to make the right connections, and so this can provide a safe gateway."

The Human Rights Committee meets on the first Monday of every month. Its next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 7 at 5 p.m. at the Keene Recreation Center at 312 Washington St.

Hunter Oberst can be reached at 355-8546, or