In 1971, the Orange County Board of Supervisors created the Orange County Human Relations Commission as a pilot project to build mutual understanding among residents and to eliminate prejudice, intolerance and discrimination. Twenty years later, as a result of the Los Angeles riots, the Orange County Human Relations Council was created as a partner agency to the Human Relations Commission. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit sought to expand the vision and augment the goals of the Commission by offering much-needed programs and services to the community via a nonprofit organization.
Thus, in 1991, the Council and the Commission became two separate, but related, arms in a renewed human relations strategy. This innovative public/private structure became known simply as OC Human Relations.
With the mission: “to foster mutual understanding among residents and eliminate prejudice, intolerance and discrimination in order to make Orange county a better place for ALL people to live, work and do business,” OC Human Relations became a leader in establishing model programs such as the BRIDGES Safe & Respectful Schools Program, Police Community Reconciliation Program, Dispute Resolution Program, Community Building Initiative, grassroots leadership development and an annual OC Human Relations AWARDS event. Support was also provided to the county’s Board of Supervisors regarding human relations issues as well as responding, as needed, to human relations crisis situations.,
In 2011, as OC Human Relations Commission celebrated its 40th anniversary, it underwent significant changes due to budget cuts in the County and contracted with our non-profit (OC Human Relations) to provide staff support to the public Commission.
In 2017 the Board of Supervisors sought a more clear distinction between their public Commission and our private, non-profit organization so we moved the Commission’s webpages to the official County of Orange website.
As a long-term servant-leader in Orange County, the non-profit OC Human Relations provides its award-winning nonprofit programs and services to Orange County’s three million residents and contracts with the county to provide logistical and staffing support to the Orange County Human Relations Commission.
At present, OC Human Relations has a diverse staff of 24 non-profit employees who are committed to identifying and addressing the unique human relations issues in our communities and schools and empowering residents with the tools and leadership skills to effectively address those issues; 3 of these staff are dedicated to providing support to the Orange County Human Relations Commission. Click here to learn more about the individuals who make up OC Human Relations.