Human Relations Commission

The Topeka Human Relations Commission (THRC) is a nine member Board of Commissioners who are appointed by the Mayor with the consent of the City Council. The mission of the THRC is to conduct outreach and educational activities that promote justice and cultural understanding, and improve relationships among all citizens of Topeka.

Human Relations Commission Meetings

The HRC normally meets on the 1st Monday of each month from 5:30pm to 7:00pm in the 1st floor conference room of City Hall, 215 SE 7th Street. Please check the public calendar for upcoming meetings.

Troy Scroggins Award

Learn more about the Troy Scroggins Award.

Membership

The Topeka Human Relations Commission shall consist of nine members to be drawn from individuals with disabilities and from diverse gender, racial, ethnic, commercial, and industrial segments of the community. The commissioners shall reside within the corporate limits of the city. The commissioners shall be appointed by the mayor from council nominations, and such appointments shall be confirmed by the council.

Apply to be a commissioner.

Commissioner Luis Estrada

Term: February 29, 2020 – February 28, 2022
Luis Estrada has been a resident of Topeka since 1994. Born in Mexico and raised briefly in Southern California. Currently he is the Community Mobilizer for El Centro Inc in Topeka and Shawnee County. The focus of his work is in strengthening communities and improving the lives of Latinos and others through educational, social and economic opportunities.

He is a Highland Park H.S graduate. He briefly attended Washburn University where he focused on Graphic Design with intentions of pursuing a career in Marketing and Advertising. He has been Technician on Ophthalmic Lab equipment for local companies and was a Banker at a national financial institution. He Ultimately realized his heart is on helping improve the health and environment of the neighborhoods he grew up in.

Other boards and councils he serves on include: YWCA’s Advocacy Committee, East Topeka Council, SPCR Council, Included Board and the EMBD Council. He was nominated for The Jayhawk Area Councils 20U40, received his certificate from The Latino Leadership Collaborative in 2018 and will form part of Leadership Greater Topeka’s Class of 2019.

Commissioner Cynthia Hopp

Term: March 21, 2020 – March 21, 2022
Cynthia Hopp has been a teacher for the Topeka public school system since 2013 and has been teaching for the last ten years. She recently graduated with a Masters of Educational Leadership at Kansas State University.

Cynthia is a member of the Minority Leadership Academy and a Kagan Cooperative Learning instructional coach. After school hours, she serves at the Woman’s Foundation and is also a Human Relations Commissioner for the city of Topeka.

With an evident passion for education and volunteering, Cynthia enjoys helping people achieve their goals.

Cynthia is married to Kevin Hopp and is the mother of two children, Mikaela and Mauricio. In her spare time, she enjoys learning how to play the cello, meditating, and doing yoga.

Commissioner Lorean Williams

Term: June 2, 2018 – June 2, 2022
Lorean Johnson Williams was born in Greenville, MS and has been a residence of Topeka, KS since 1980. She is the mother of three, grandmother of eight and great grandmother of six.

Lorean is a 1992 Associate of Arts, Paralegal graduate from Washburn University and is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She received the Junior League of Topeka Community Volunteer Award and the Golden City Sertoma Club Service to Mankind Award.

Lorean has been active in Civil/Human Rights for over 25 years. She has served in various positions to include board member, panelist, and secretary. As a member of the Justice for All People, High Crest NIA, Topeka Weed & Seed, the Law Enforcement Partnership Panel. Lorean is a current member on Topeka Chief of Police Advisory Council.

She is active in her church and community. Lorean is on the County Support team in KDOR Vehicle Services.

Lorean tries to be a voice for those who need to be heard.

Commissioner Shampayne Lloyd

Term: December 12, 2018 – July 1, 2022
Shampayne Lloyd is currently Chair of Precinct 91, Ward 5. She dedicates a great deal of her time to helping others by mentoring at the Topeka Rescue Mission. She also participates in the Incarceration to Incorporation program at the women’s correctional facility, where she teaches weekly pre-seminary classes. Shampayne is also a member of Women Who Changed the Heart of the City, Mayor Michelle De La Isla’s Community Outreach Team and Shawnee County Democrats.

Shampayne helped facilitate bringing Christ the Victor Hi-Crest Church to Hi-Crest, one of Topeka’s most vulnerable neighborhoods. Shampayne co-pastors at Christ the Victor Church as well as ministering at Antioch Baptist Church. She will graduate from The Urban Ministry Institute of Topeka in 2019. Shampayne is an advocate for marginalized citizens and is a dedicated servant in Topeka.

Commissioner Rebecca “Kim” Montoya

Term: February 5, 2019 – February 4, 2021
A Colorado native, Kim began her Federal government career in 1983 with the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), National Park Service. Kim has over 25 years experience working in the area of Civil Rights, Equal Employment Opportunity, Compliance, Training and Employee Development, Human Resources, and Diversity & Inclusion. She left the National Park Service in 2000 to transfer to the Bureau of Reclamation serving as a Program Analyst with the Workforce Diversity Group and was instrumental in establishing the Diversity Coalition West Ad Hoc Team, a DOI group committed to building a diverse workforce within the DOI bureaus. In her last position, she served as the Senior Program Manager responsible for policy development, program implementation, training, and complaints adjudication of Title II, Title VI, and Title IX complaints.

Within the Federal community Kim served in a variety of elected positions. She chaired of the Denver Federal Executive Board, Hispanic Employment Program Council. Chartered the Federally Employed Women’s Denver Federal Center Chapter and served as Vice Chair and Chair of its Policy and Legislative Subcommittee for which she received the Rocky Mountain Region Award for Best Chapter Legislative Program. Prior to her retirement she chartered the Dam Good Speakers Toastmasters Club so that the younger generation of federal employees could develop communication and leadership skills. Outside of government, Kim served as Chair, Board of Directors, Latin American Research and Service Agency, and Treasurer for IMAGE de Denver.

In 2017, Kim retired from Federal service and relocated to Topeka, Kansas. She soon got in involved in the community working the Topeka Mayoral campaign and volunteering at the YWCA of NE Kansas. She launched the YWCA of NE Kansas Advocacy Cafécito and in 2018 received the YWCA Karen Viola Volunteer of the Year Award. She now serves as the Co-Chair of their Advocacy Committee. Kim also started a Las Comadres and Friends National Latino Book Club, (a nation-wide book club promoting Latino/a authors) that meets monthly at the Topeka and Shawnee Public Library.

Kim earned a BS degree in Organizational Management/Human Resources from Colorado Christian University; she has investigative certifications in Title VI & Title VII (Civil Rights); and certified as an ADA (American with Disabilities Act) Coordinator. Kim is currently working on a certification on Medical Coding and Billing at Washburn University Institute of Technology where she hopes to start a second career. She loves to travel domestically and internationally, loves to read and spend time in the great outdoors, and dedicates her spare time giving back to the community.

Commissioner Erica Garcia Babb

Term: March 13, 2020 – March 9, 2022
Erica Garcia Babb first moved to Topeka in 2016. She was born in Corpus Christi, Texas and raised just south of there in the small town of Kingsville. Later she graduated from the same university as both her parents, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering. She was a middle school and high school math teacher for four years before returning to her engineering background. Since then, she has worked at an alumina refinery, a power plant, and now most recently a pet food production facility. She and her husband, John, have a two year old boy and have chosen Topeka as the place they would like him to spend his childhood.

After being in Topeka for a few years, Erica decided it was time to play a role in shaping this community for her son. She has since become a part of the Human Relations Committee, Airport Advisory Board, Topeka United, and Moms Demand Action.

Commissioner Meredith Fry

Term: February 19, 2020 – February 10, 2022
Meredith Fry currently works in public service for the federal government. She is an advocate for the voiceless and underrepresented, and strives daily to further systematic change. Helping people in her community and connecting them to resources to better their lives is an ongoing passion. Accepting an appointment to the Topeka Human Relations Commission was natural for her.

Born and raised in Topeka, Meredith is twice a graduate of Washburn University with degrees in Biology and Law. She also attended Topeka Public Schools for her K-12 education.

Commissioner Luc Bensimon

Term: August 3, 2020 – June 30, 2022

I am a 48 year old man of Trans experience born and raised in Topeka, Kansas. I was born with 3 strikes against me being assigned female at birth, being Afro-American and born with a disability all of which I have been discriminated against in different areas of my life. I have two degrees in Human Services youth and children emphasis and a BA in Criminal Justice. I wear a few different hats when it comes to activism. I am the current president and one of the founding members of Kansas statewide transgender education project (K.S.T.E.P), current chairperson of Equality Kansas Topeka chapter, and the president of Capital city equality center (The Mott House), the president and founder of the Black Transmen Inc. Kansas chapter (BTMI Kansas). Mr. Black Trans Kansas 2019-2020,ward captain and ward 1 precinct 3 precinct committee Man  I am an activist for the LGBT community but my true passion Trans people of color.