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Onondaga County/Syracuse Commission on Human Rights

Barrie Gewanter
Executive Director

Bridget Owens
Human Rights Specialist

John H. Mulroy Civic Center,
Suite 19 - Basement Level
421 Montgomery Street
Syracuse, NY 13202

(315) 435-3565


Free Call from Inmates at Jail or Jamesville: (315) 435-3567 


Events & Activities


Barrie Gewanter, Bridget Owens, and Monica Bacote Participated in the                                               Annual Celebration of the Anniversary of the American's with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Barrie & Syracuse City ADA Coordinator Ocesa Keaton Hold Joint City & County Proclamation Monica & Bridget Carry Human Rights Banner at Start of Parade


3 Marchers Hold ADA Banner at Start of Parade


Barrie & Syracuse City  ADA Coordinator Ocesa Keaton Hold Joint Proclamation

July 26, 2016

Monica & Bridget Carry Human Rights Banner at the Start of the ADA Parade

July 26, 2016

3 Marchers Hold ADA Banner

at the Start of the ADA Parade

July 26, 2016


Director Barrie Gewanter & Human Rights Specialist Bridget Owens      

Do Outreach at Information Fairs in the Syracuse Community

Bridget Owens & a Syracuse Student at Law Day at Fowler High School Barrie Gewanter at Senator Valesky's Community Information Fair

Bridget Owens at our tablewith a Syracuse high school student at the Law Day Event at Fowler High School

April 8, 2016

Barrie Gewanter at our outreach table at Senator Valesky's Community Info. Fair at Southwest Community Center

June 23, 2016



HR Logo

Director Barrie Gewanter attended 2016 Karen Community Celebration in Syracuse
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On Jan 9, 2016 Human Rights Director Barrie Gewanter participated in a celebration of the New Year with 100's of members of the Karen Community from Syracuse, Albany, Rochester, Buffalo and Ithaca. They gathered together at Heninger High School in Syracuse for a joyful day that included speeches, songs and presentations from Karen Community cultural and organizational leaders and Karen youth, as well as delicious Karen food and Karen youth dance troupes from each city.

The Karen people are an ethnic minority group from the country of Myanmar (Burma) where they have suffered many years of horrific violence and political and cultural oppression. The United States has made a commitment to accept Karen refugees. Over the last 10 years 37,000 Karen refugees have settled in NY State. Only Texas and California have more Karen residents. In 2010 there were 3,000 Karen in Syracuse & Ithaca, 500 in Rochester, 3500 in Utica/Rome and 2500 in Buffalo. (From a March 2010 presentation at a Professional Development Fair in the Albany School District (http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/scmsAdmin/ uploads/005/650/3-27,_Albany%20-%20Presentation.pdf)  A website describing the Karen states that they "are known for their colorful traditional clothes and for their energetic and jubilant festival dances. Foremost, the Karens are known for their hospitality and friendliness which they readily extend to everyone." (www.karencommunity.org). All this was very evident at the New Year celebration in Syracuse.

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