Office of Equity, Community and Human Rights

Role of the Office of Equity, Community and Human Rights

The Office of Equity, Community and Human Rights serves as a critical link between the City and our community.  The Office of Equity, Community and Human Rights works to ensure everyone who lives, works, or plays in Champaign is treated in a fair, equal, and inclusive manner, as demonstrated in the City’s mission and values and the City Council’s goal to promote quality of life for all citizens.  The City is committed to meeting this objective through ongoing public education and enforcement of the City’s Human Rights Ordinance and Equal Opportunity in Purchasing Ordinance.

The Office of Equity, Community and Human Rights works to help those who feel they have been discriminated against by investigating complaints and working with both parties to resolve issues. The Office of Equity, Community and Human Rights is assisted in this role by the City’s Human Relations Commission.

The Human Relations Commission has a Citizen Review Subcommittee to review the investigations completed by the police into citizen complaints and provide findings and recommendations to the Chief of Police.

Champaign Community Coalition

The Office of Equity, Community and Human Rights also manages and coordinates the work of the Champaign Community Coalition.  The Coalition’s mission is to identify and assist with critical community issues that impact the lives of area youth and their families.  The Coalition is a system of care network that includes: local government, law enforcement, juvenile justice, behavioral health, education, child welfare, and community based service providers.

Support for LGBTQ Rights

The City of Champaign supports the rights of our LGBTQ community.  Kris Koester is the LGBTQ Liaison for the City of Champaign.  In this role, Kris provides an informed voice to the City Manager on LGBTQ issues in the Champaign community.  Kris also works with the City’s Office of Equity, Community and Human Rights to develop community and employee events, along with participating in community-wide events like the Champaign-Urbana Pride Fest and Parade. Kris also works collaboratively with the Human Relations Commission and other City staff to promote equity and human rights for the LGBTQ community.  Kris can be contacted at kris.koester@champaignil.gov or 217-403-4700.

In 2018, Champaign was one of 506 U.S. cities scored during the 2018 Municipal Equality Index (MEI) and one of nine cities in Illinois. Champaign is ranked in the top three of Illinois cities ranked. The MEI is issued annually by the Human Rights Campaign and measures how inclusive the City’s policies, laws, and services are for LGBTQ individuals living and working here.  Learn more at hrc.org/mei.