About the Human Relations Commission

Vision: The creation of a citywide environment that is a place where everyone is treated fairly.

Mission: The mission of the Winston-Salem Human Relations Commission ("WSHRC/HRD") is to educate, create, facilitate, promote, anticipate, study, and recommend programs, projects, feedback, and actions for the elimination of discrimination in any and all fields of human relationships.

Human Relations Commissioners at the 2018 Open House

Human Relations Commission and Human Relations Department Director, Wanda Allen Abraha
2019 Human Relations Student Awards Banquet


Sylvia DuRant

2019 Human Relations Commission [pdf]

Sylvia DuRant, Chair

Robert Leak, III, Vice-Chair

Jeffrey Bloomfield

Sonny Haynes

Sobia Hussaini

Rosalba Ledezma

Joshua Price

Ruth Sartin

Barbara Saulpaugh

Sita Somara

Fred Taylor

Kerry Wiggins

Eusebio Velez

More information on the Human Relations Commission and its members


  1. Study problems of discrimination in any or all fields of human relationship and encourage fair treatment and mutual understanding among all ethnic groups in the city;
  2. Promote equality of opportunity for all citizens;
  3. Provide channels of communication among all ethnic groups;
  4. Encourage the employment of qualified people of all ethnic groups;
  5. Encourage youth to become better trained and qualified for employment opportunities;
  6. Anticipate and discover those practices most likely to create animosity and unrest among racial and ethnic groups and by consultation seek a solution as these problems arise or are anticipated;
  7. Hold such meetings as the commission may deem necessary or proper to assist in carrying out its functions;
  8. Make recommendations to the city council for action it deems necessary for the furtherance of harmony among racial and ethnic groups in the city;
  9. Perform duties consistent with general law as may be assigned it from time to time by the city council;
  10. Perform such other duties as necessary to enforce the powers assigned it in accordance with Article IV, the Fair Housing Ordinance of the City of Winston-Salem, of Chapter 38 of the City Code; and
  11. Facilitate partnerships with fair housing and cultural community organizations to further the purpose of the commission.

The nature and the extent of its policies and programs are determined and set by the commission and shall be implemented within accepted policies and procedures of the city.

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