Human Rights Hall of Fame
About the Hall of Fame
In March 2001, the Montgomery County Office of Human Rights inducted the first 20 honorees into the Human Rights Hall of Fame. Since March 2002, the induction ceremony is held biennially. The inductees are honored for having made great personal sacrifices and contributions to human and civil rights in Montgomery County, either as trailblazers of the past or as current foot soldiers in the struggle. The 2014 Hall of Fame Ceremony is set for October 12, 2014.
On Monday, October 28, 2013, the Montgomery County Office of Human Rights (OHR) hosted its eighth biennial Human Rights Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony to honor individuals who have made great personal sacrifices in contributing to human and civil rights in Montgomery County, either as trailblazers of the past or as current light bearers in the struggle. The Human Rights Hall of Fame mission is to recognize visionary leadership, outstanding achievement, and altruism on the road to eliminating discrimination, diminishing the effects of discrimination, and advancing human rights.
Eight residents were inducted into the Human Rights Hall of Fame by the Montgomery County Office of Human Rights (OHR). The event was be held at the BlackRock Center for the Arts, 12901 Town Commons Drive in Germantown.
The honorees will be recognized for their visionary leadership, outstanding achievements and altruism on the road to eliminating discrimination and advancing human rights. Benjamin Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP will be the keynote speaker.
The following individuals were inducted at this ceremony:
Karen Britto (Chevy Chase) – former and first African American Chair of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee and former District 16 Delegate. Britto was nominated for her dedication to promoting human rights and improving the quality of life for all Montgomery County residents, particularly women and minorities.
Ann Chapman (Rockville) – for more than two decades, Chapman has operated the Helping Hands Shelter in Rockville. The shelter is a 24-hour emergency assistance center for women, helping thousands of women and children over the years. Clients have made tremendous progress, obtaining training and jobs, improving their credit and developing and sharpening their parenting skills.
Charlotte Coffield, Ph.D. (Lyttonsville) – at the forefront of community development efforts in her community of Lyttonsville, Coffield and her sister Gwen, lobbied the County for urban renewal funds to be used to pave roads, provide running water and construct new homes. She was instrumental in saving Rosemary Hills Elementary School from closure. As president of the Lyttonsville Community Association, she successfully rallied her neighbors to fight a State proposal to locate a railroad yard and maintenance shop close to residences in the area that would have increased industrialization of the neighborhood.
Dr. Judith R. Docca (Montgomery Village) – Elected to the Board of Education in 2006 and currently serving her second term, Dr. Docca led the charge in the 1990’s to save Montgomery County’s Head Start program. Dr. Docca and community members convinced the Board of Education, the County Executive and the County Council to continue the unique educational program and ancillary services provided to families. Over the years, she has volunteered for a number of community and service organizations and was among the founders of the Montgomery County Alliance of Black School Educators in 1978.
JC Hayward (Silver Spring) – As one of the Washington, D.C. area’s most respected and well-known broadcast journalists – and the D.C. market’s first female news anchor – Hayward is a visionary with a strong belief in herself and her community. She has laid a foundation for the image of women to take on leadership roles and to help mold the future for women leaders. She believes that providing support to one’s community and contributing through activism and encouragement helps the entire community to become better.
Susan C. Lee (Bethesda) – As a committed civil rights and women’s rights activist, Lee helped bring to the forefront important issues impacting minorities and women. She has played a critical role in bringing together diverse ethnic, faith and women’s organizations in Montgomery County to advance common civil rights efforts, eliminate discrimination and promote better understanding and cooperation between those communities. Lee was the first Asian American woman elected to the Maryland General Assembly in 2002 and has been a champion legislator of civil rights and women issues.
J. Thomas Manger (Rockville) – since 2004, Manger has served as Montgomery County’s Police Chief. As chairman of the Major Cities Chief’s Association, he testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration concerning comprehensive immigration reform, stressing that all persons – regardless of citizenship – have a right to expect police services and protection. Manger holds monthly meetings with diverse community groups to discuss issues and concerns. Through his long career as a public servant he has been accessible and willing to reach out to every sector of his community.
Dr. Bernice R. Sandler (Chevy Chase) – a visionary and pioneer for gender equality in education, Dr. Sandler has spent more than 50 years advocating for women’s rights. She has been a part of many “firsts” in the fight for gender equality. In 1970, she was the first person to testify before Congress about gender discrimination in education. She then became the first person appointed to staff a Congressional committee specifically on issues concerning women’s rights. In 1971, she wrote the first federal policy report regarding sex discrimination in education. As a result of these efforts, she was appointed to chair the first federal advisory committee on Women’s Educational Equity.
The selection criteria for Hall of Fame members, living or deceased, is exemplary leadership, lifetime or current high impact achievements and lasting impact on Montgomery County's human rights movement. Hall of Fame inductees, nominated by the community and recommended by a panel of community judges, may not include any current staff member of the Montgomery County Office of Human Rights.
To nominate an individual for the Hall of Fame:
- Nomination Form and Print and Mail to the address below.
- Include a narrative (250-300 words) containing a concise overview supporting the nomination.
- Provide supplemental information that will further demonstrate the contribution of the individual. If information is not in electronic form (letters of recommendation, newspaper articles, etc.) it can be mailed separately to:
The Montgomery County Office of Human Rights
21 Maryland Avenue, Suite 330
Rockville, Maryland 20850
Inductee and Nominee Info
- 2001 Inductees
- 2001 Nominees
- 2002 Inductees
- 2002 Nominees
- 2004 Inductees
- 2004 Nominees
- 2006 Inductees
- 2008 Inductees
- 2010 Inductees
Montgomery County Office of Human Rights
21 Maryland Avenue, Suite 330 · Rockville, Maryland 20850
Telephone: 240.777.8450 · Fax: 240.777.8460 · TTY: 240.777.8480