The Human Relations-Youth Resources (HRYR) Commission was established in 1970 by what is now Article 3.14 of the town bylaws (PDF) (Division of Human Relations - Youth Resources) after a lengthy and thorough study by the committee on urban responsibility in response to a nationwide effort to remediate the disenfranchisement felt by African-Americans with respect to police relations, housing, employment, contracting, and banking that had precipitated urban rioting.

At the time, the federal civil rights laws were new and developing rapidly, and the town needed guidelines in this area and a mechanism to handle complaints (the then Personnel Board and Personnel Office were primarily concerned with collective bargaining, classifications, and civil service).


The commission’s mission was envisioned as broad, and included (but was not limited to) the handling of complaints by citizens as well as town employees, and the development of broad initiatives to prevent discrimination and promote equal opportunity in all facets of community life (not just employment, and with regard to employment, not just town employment).