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.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Human Relations Commission is to conduct outreach and educational activities that promote justice and cultural understanding, and improve relationships among all people of the City of Topeka.

Vision Statement

The Topeka Human Relations Commission is the key educational and services connecting resource for the city to its people to help eradicate inequality, provide cultural education and create a diverse, accepting community that assists, adapts to and upholds every member in its midst with fairness, kindness and a path to a stable and prosperous future.

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 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 Rebecca “Kim” Montoya

Term: February 5, 2019 – February 4, 2021
A Colorado native, Kim has over 25 years of Federal experience in the area of Civil Rights, Equal Employment Opportunity, Compliance, Training and Employee Development, Human Resources, and Diversity & Inclusion. Additionally, Kim also 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 Chair of its Policy and Legislative Subcommittee. 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 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 has served as the Chair of their Advocacy Committee for the past two years. In 2018, she received the YWCA Karen Viola Volunteer of the Year Award. She works part-time as a Program Manager for the League of Women Voters of Kansas.

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. She loves to travel domestically and internationally, loves to read, enjoys the great outdoors and photography. Kim dedicates her time giving back to the community through volunteerism and strongly believes in human rights and advocacy.

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 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.