Kitsap County Council for Human Rights


Kitsap County shall be a caring, supportive, and safe community for everyone that values each individual, celebrates individual differences, and recognizes the importance of each person's contribution. 


  > To advise county government and the Kitsap County community on issues related to discrimination, violence and harassment based on race or national origin, religion, age, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, or economic status, and

  > To promote equitable treatment of all people and reduce prejudice through education, resource referrals, and advocacy.


News & Announcements

The Kitsap County Council for Human Rights sent an open letter to the Central Kitsap School District Board Members, Superintendent and Klahowya Secondary School Administrators in support of students who have experienced harassment related to gender diversity within Central Kitsap Schools.

Read the letter here.


Sign up to receive Council updates and information through the county's electronic notification system.

Applications open for Council for Human Rights
Applications are open for a South Kitsap and At-Large Representative to join the Council for Human Rights. Read the position description hereTo apply, click here.


Past Statements

Open letter to North Kitsap School District

The Council for Human Rights sent a letter March 13, 2023 to the North Kitsap School Board, the school district's equity officer and superintendent, urging action be taken on proposed solutions to provide equal access to English language learners and foster a culture of belonging for all students as brought forth in an open letter to the North Kitsap School District from the Kitsap Latino Community. 

Read the letter here. 

Statement on incidents of discrimination 

The Kitsap County Council for Human Rights released a statement March 18, 2022 declaring our concern and opposition to the many incidents of discrimination that have occurred within Kitsap County in recent months.

Voting Rights Forum, May 24, 2023

Thank you to everyone who attended the Voting Rights are Human Rights forum May 24. The forum was moderated by League of Women Voters of Kitsap member Kim Abel and featured Washington State Representative Tarra Simmons; Kitsap County Auditor Paul Andrews; John Allen of the Kitsap County Accessible Voting Advisory Committee; Martitha May of Kitsap Mesa Redonda and former director of the Kitsap Immigrant Assistance Center; and La Rond Baker, Washington Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union.

View a recording of the forum here.

Downloadable Voting Rights Resources:

Voting History of Rights from the ACLU
Voting Rights Resources, compiled by the Council for Human Rights and League of Women Voters


Kitsap County Conference for Human Rights

The Council for Human Rights organized an annual Kitsap County Conference for Human Rights each December for 32 consecutive years through 2022 to coincide with International Human Rights Day, which is observed every year on December 10 — the day in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The conference will not be held in 2023 as the council is focusing on expanding its outreach into the community by participating in other events, hosting spring and fall forums, attending community meetings, and supporting individuals and organizations in responding to racism and hate crime incidents and advocating for equity and inclusion. 


Linda Gabriel Human Rights Awards

The Linda Gabriel Human Rights Awards are presented annually during the Kitsap County Conference for Human Rights. Recipients are nominated by the community for their extraordinary commitment to advancing and promoting human rights for all. The awards are named in honor of Linda Gabriel, a founder of the Kitsap County Council for Human Rights, who passed away in 2014.

For a complete list of past recipients, please click here.

Council for Human Rights Meetings

The Council for Human Rights regularly meets the third Tuesday of the month from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Eagle's Nest at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds. A virtual option is also available to the public via Zoom. 
Click here to join the Zoom meeting.

To join by phone, dial 253-215-8782 and enter the meeting ID number: 860 3956 6803

Public Comments
For members of the public wishing to comment during designated public comment, the following options are available. Each member of the public is limited to two minutes of Internet, call-in, or written comments. At the discretion of the meeting Chair, public comment that is overly repetitive or inappropriate (vulgar, disruptive, etc.) will be ended. 

Internet Users
Please click on the raise hand feature. The sound will be unmuted, and the Internet participant should announce her or his name.  The participant will be called upon to speak at the appropriate time.

Call-In Users
Callers will be unmuted one at a time and asked whether the caller wishes to offer public comment.  The last four digits of the call-in number will be announced, and call-in participants should announce their First and Last name before speaking.

Written Comments
Written comments will be read during the public comment period if submitted to by 12 p.m. on the day of the meeting. Comments read are limited to two minutes. To ensure written public comments are read at the proper meeting, written statement should include: the date of the meeting the written comments are intended for; participant's First and Last Name and whether they live in Kitsap County; and agenda Item and/or subject the written comments refer to.

​2023 Work Plan

Council for Human Rights 2023 Work Plan

​2023 Agendas / Minutes 

​January 14 (Annual Retreat)
​February 21
​March 7 - Special Meeting
​March 21
April 18
May 16
​June 18
​July 18
August 15
​September 19

​2022 Agendas / Minutes

January 15 (Annual Retreat)
​February 15
March 15
​April 19
May 17
​June 21
July 19
August 16
​September 20
October 17
​November 15
​December 7, 6 p.m. - Special meeting for conference planning
​December 15, 6:30 p.m. - Special meeting in lieu of regular monthly meeting




​Term Ending

Melisa Wight
District 1
Dionne Deschenne
​District 112/31/23
Judy Friesem
​District 1
Erin Lanum
​District 1
Christina Barone
​District 2
Rochelle Karlsen
​District 2
Jim Manlove
​District 2
​District 2

Cris Amburgey
​District 3
Shannae Peters
​District 3
Elizabeth Holmes
​District 3
Kirsten Dahlquist
District 3
Augustine Lujan
Nicola D'Anella


Kitsap County Timeline of Human Rights

Compiled by the Kitsap County
Council for Human Rights

Updated November 2022

Click here to view and download.

(Email suggested edits and additions here.)

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1948

Discrimination Complaints

The Kitsap County Council for Human Rights principal role is educational. It has no authority to investigate and make findings in a discrimination case. 
To file a general discrimination complaint, contact the Washington State Human Rights Commission at

Hate Crimes & Bias Incidents

How to report a hate crime.

Learn how the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office responds to Hate Crimes.

10 Ways to Fight Hate from the Poverty Law Center

Rental Complaints

To file a complaint related to housing, including rentals, contact the Fair Housing Center of Washington at

Healthcare Agencies & Facilities Complaints

Contact the Washington Department of Health at its facility complaint website

International Human Rights

Contact the United Nations Human Rights Council at

Educational Tools to Explore Racial, Gender and Other Bias



For more information, contact Rebecca Pirtle at


Stay up to date on the conference and other events and opportunities with the Council for Human Rights. Sign up to receive electronic notifications here

(Be sure to check the box for Council for Human Rights News and Events under the Board of County Commissioners topics.)