Since 1991 we've been addressing prejudice and discrimination in Orange County with the help of great people like you. Thank you for your continued support!

OC Human Relations' e-newsletter | Winter 2019
Happy New Year From Our CEO! 
Dear Friends,

We saw 2018 as a year of transition and growth at OC Human Relations. We said goodbye to Rusty Kennedy, our founder, at the end of 2017 when he retired. As 2018 progressed it was 
Alison Edwards - CEO
time to leap out of the nest to see if we could fly. And fly we did. While we have added on the foundations so carefully and courageously built by Rusty by responding to, and tracking, an increasing number of hate crimes in the county, helping schools and cities respond to crisis, and building relationships between police and residents, we have also grown. Our staff continues to increase, our programming has expanded into new cities and school districts and we now offer more trainings than ever. We are expanding because we have been innovative. We built the new Restorative Schools Program - to provide more effective alternatives to suspensions - which has grown from four to six schools. We developed implicit bias training for multiple audiences and we are part of a pilot program that is using mediation to prevent and address elder abuse.
As 2019 begins, we are eager to keep growing and keep learning. Our teams will continue to support collaboratives as they change the lives of youth and families in Anaheim, engage residents in advocating for healthier neighborhoods and reach out to the "Hard to Count" communities in the county to make sure that every resident in OC is counted in the 2020 Census. And, of course, we will still be here day-in-day-out bringing diverse people together in classrooms, courtrooms and communities - solving problem, resolving conflict and building a safe, inclusive OC for ALL!

Thank you for your support!
News from our Dispute Resolution Program

Thank you to our volunteers for the tremendous contribution they made to OC Human Relations, the courts, and the residents of Orange County during 2018. Altogether, our volunteers logged an incredible 8,576 hours of service valued as a $214,400 contribution to the County of Orange. This is a whopping 41% increase compared to the previous year!  
Our volunteers are the best!
2 019 Annual Volunteer Appreciation Event

New Dispute Resolution Program focuses on the needs of Elders
Being part of a human relations organization, our volunteer mediators are well equipped to assist parties in overcoming relational difficulties that prevent them from being able to work collaboratively to resolve disputes themselves. An area of high need for this relationship-focused approach is in the area of elder issues. Elder mediation typically involves complex situations often embedded in high conflict relationship dynamics. Through our family mediator training and mentoring program, OC Human Relations helps mediators develop the skill set needed to work with parties in high conflict situations such as these. Our Dispute Resolution Program is looking forward to collaborating with the OC Superior Courts to provide relationship-focused mediation to litigants in Probate Court. Stay tuned for updates on our progress in 2019!
This position serves as support staff to the Human Relations Commission and is funded through a contract with the County of Orange.  The current scope of work focuses on areas of Police Community Reconciliation Program(PCRP), police-community relations, human relations issues awareness, community crisis response/support, trainings and workshops around culture diversity, respect, conflict resolution and reconciliation.  Learn more

Ball Junior High held its first annual Anti-Bullying Week last November.  Our Restorative Justice Specialist at Ball Jr., Chelsea Stephens (R) wrote a piece about the week.  Read more
Thank You Becky!

All of us at OC Human Relations offer our sincere thanks to  Rebecca ( Becky) Esparza for serving as a Commissioner on Orange County's Human Relations Commission for 36 years as well as helping to start the nonprofit OC Human Relations Council 28 years ago!

Becky's contributions are incalculable and her legacy will be felt for years to come.
Restorative Justice supports Special Education Programs

"the presence of a Restorative Justice philosophy and approach (in schools) can enhance and support the practices of special education teachers, staff and school counselors"

Read more about how our Restorative Justice Program at Tustin Unified School District supports healthy relationship building and conflict resolution. 
In 2018, we launched our #IamOC project to showcase and highlight the richness of Orange County's culture and diversity. To do this, we are launching a photo series depicting people from diverse communities.  

By having people share their stories, we hope to plant the seeds of understanding, acceptance and harmony while increasing awareness about the importance of respect and unity.  

Rudy's is one of several stories that have been posted on our website.

Upcoming Events!
The next 40-hour Basic Mediation Training is scheduled to start January 17 at our office in Santa Ana. This training provides an introduction to the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that enable a mediator to help disputing parties resolve their conflicts in a peaceful, cooperative way. Please see the information on our website or call Wesley Acker at 714-480-6590 if you would like more information about training to become a mediator.
Registration is now open  to Orange County Middle/Junior High schools - 
Stay Tuned for YouthSpeak 2019!

O C Human Relations' annual YouthSpeak Speech Contest is a county-wide search for the top human relations speech written by an 8th-12th grade student.  

The 2019 contest launches in mid-February.  This year's topic is: 

The Problem with Labels: What does it mean to label someone and what is the impact on people? What can be done to address the negative impact of labeling a person or a group of people?

Watch our social media feeds and website for more details and see our YouthSpeak page for previous winners.
Upcoming Community Events of Interest

January 23, 2019: Uncovering Hate: OC - Community in Conversation:
OC Human Relations' staff joins a panel conversation at 6 PM - 8 PM, Laguna Beach Seniors at the Susi Q, 380 3rd St, Laguna Beach, 92651 MORE INFO

January 24, 2019: Interfaith Conversation: Finding Common Ground in Divided Times:
OC Human Relations' staff joins a panel conversation at 5:30 -7:30pm, Liberty Hall at Ehler's Event Center, 8150 Knott Ave, Buena Park, 90620  MORE INFO
OC Human Relations | 1801 E. Edinger, Santa Ana, CA 92705 | 714-480-6570