Per the City of Pittsburgh Home Rule Charter
§ 216. - HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION.
The mayor shall appoint a fifteen member human relations commission. Each member shall serve for a term of four years or until a successor is appointed and qualified.
§ 218. - REMOVAL OF HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION MEMBERS.
The mayor may remove a commission member only for just cause and with the approval of council. The mayor shall submit reasons constituting cause in writing to the commission and council.
Pittsburgh native Allyce Pinchback is the Founder and CEO of Pinchback Consulting LLC, a business she started in August 2017 to support companies and organizations with their strategic planning and staff development efforts. Prior to starting her company, Commissioner Pinchback served as Director of Professional Development for Pittsburgh Public Schools. In that role, she provided oversight of the District’s professional learning system, and was certified as a racial equity affiliate. Additionally, Commissioner Pinchback spent three years as a Program Officer for the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh. Commissioner Pinchback also provides senior leadership guidance and management to several non-profit organizations. These leadership experiences include five years of service as a board member for the Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project (PUMP), where for the past two years, she has served as President of the Board of Directors. She also serves as a board member for the Rukmini Foundation. Commissioner Pinchback is a member of Vibrant Pittsburgh’s Next Generation Council, and is the Immediate Past Curator of the Pittsburgh Global Shapers. She also serves as a mentor to three female students.
Commissioner Pinchback graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh in 2009 with a B.S. in Psychology and Japanese, and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Management from the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University.”
Eric L. Holmes, has served the City of Pittsburgh for 20 years as a law enforcement officer, currently holding the rank of Commander and serving as the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Chief of Staff.
Commissioner Holmes has a B.A. degree and is currently working on his M.A. He is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh LDI XVIII. Commissioner Holmes was appointed by the Clinton administration to The White House Intern Program in the early 90’s. He belongs to a number of professional and volunteer activities to include: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Robert Morris University Criminal Justice and Sociology Advisory Committee, and the YWCA Community Advisory Board just to name of few.
In June of 2008, the Eric L. Holmes Criminal Justice Scholarship was established at Slippery Rock University.
Eric Horwith was first appointed to serve on the Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations in July 2010 by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl. Commissioner Horwith was reappointed to the Commission by Mayor William Peduto in November 2014. Commissioner Horwith served as the Commission’s liaison to the Mayor’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Advisory Council.
Commissioner Horwith is the Director of Growth and Business Development at the non-profit Family Hospice and Palliative Care, the leading provider of end-of-life services in the City of Pittsburgh. Commissioner Horwith has worked since 1997 to improve quality and access to individualized and holistic end-of-life and after-life care in Allegheny County.
A licensed social worker and longtime Pittsburgh resident, Commissioner Horwith earned an undergraduate degree at Duquesne University and a Master’s in Social Work degree at the University of Pittsburgh.
Commissioner Horwith serves on the Board of Directors for the Mount Washington Community Development Center, the National Association of Social Workers, and the Southwestern Pennsylvania Chapter of Social Workers for Aging Practices. Commissioner Horwith is also a member of the Coalition for Quality End-of-Life Care (CQEC), a network of health providers and quality of care advocates who work to improve care to the seriously ill and their families in the City of Pittsburgh.
Gabriel McMorland was appointed to serve on the Commission on Human Relations in April 2016 by Mayor William Peduto. Commissioner McMorland also serves on the City-County Task Force on Disabilities.
Commissioner McMorland works as the New Economy Campaign Organizer at the Thomas Merton Center. Additionally, he coordinates monthly events about accessible design with the Pittsburgh Accessibility Meetup. Commissioner McMorland previously served as Project Manager with Jackson/Clark Partners on extensive surveys of community needs including the Greater Hazelwood Community Census, the One Northside project, and the redevelopment of Allegheny Dwellings housing project. He has provided professional accessibility consulting to both the University of Pittsburgh and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.
After losing much of his vision at age nineteen, Commissioner McMorland went on to complete both the Urban Studies program at the University of Pittsburgh and the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs.
Helen Gerhardt was appointed to serve on the Pittsburgh Human Relations Commission by Mayor William Peduto in November 2014.
Commissioner Gerhardt currently works to address food access equity in Allegheny County as Project Coordinator for Just Harvest's Fresh Corners initiative. Commissioner Gerhardt completed her Master of Fine Arts in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Pittsburgh while working as Communications Coordinator for the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and as an anti-torture organizer for the American Friends Service Committee. Commissioner Gerhardt has also worked as Community Organizer for both Action United and Pittsburghers for Public Transit, and still actively volunteers with these organizations.
A veteran of the Iraq War, Commissioner Gerhardt traveled throughout Iraq with the Missouri Army National Guard 1221st Transportation Company from 2003 to 2004, hearing the experiences of Iraqi men, women and children, as well as the stories of coalition soldiers from across the world who served in military camps from Mosul to Basra to Abu Ghraib. Her nonfiction narratives of the devastating impact of dehumanization, racism and Islamophobia and her own experience as a bisexual woman serving under the “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy have been featured in the New York Times, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, broadcast on National Public Radio, and collected in the National Endowment of the Arts anthology, Operation Homecoming. Commissioner Gerhardt has featured local voices in recorded conversations at her blog, “Buses Are Bridges,” traveling by bus throughout the diverse neighborhoods of Pittsburgh to record our neighbors' experiences, concerns, and struggles for human dignity and equal rights.
Pittsburgh native Jessica Ruffin is the inaugural Director of the Social Justice Institutes at Carlow University. Launched in 2016, the Social Justice Institutes exemplify Carlow University’s strong commitment to social justice; ethical, forward-thinking and responsible leadership; and Jessica is proud to serve in this role.
Most recently, Commissioner Ruffin was the Chief Operating Officer of Coro Pittsburgh. In this role, she managed and coached staff through the delivery of quality programming to emerging civic leaders who sought to develop their leadership in an effort to have a meaningful impact on our region and make Pittsburgh more livable for everyone. In this role, she also served as the Director of Public Allies Pittsburgh.
Commissioner Ruffin has also held positions as Community Impact Director with Amachi Pittsburgh, an initiative to support children with incarcerated parents, and as a Business Support Specialist with the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh, where she assisted women in launching or expanding their own businesses.
Commissioner Ruffin earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Urban Studies from the University of Pittsburgh and her MBA from Chatham University.
Commissioner Ruffin is a firm believer in children’s activist, Marian Wright Edelman words, “Service is the rent we pay for living.” To that end, she tries to remain active in the community. She serves on the board of the Hilltop Alliance, and was recently appointed to the Board of Commissioners for PACE Pittsburgh.
For her work, Commissioner Ruffin was a 2011 recipient of the New Pittsburgh Courier’s Fab 40 award. She is also a 2006 graduate of the Coro Center for Civic Leadership’s Community Problem-Solving Fellowship and a member of the seventh cohort of Serving Leaders’ Leaders Collaborative. She was most recently named one of The Incline’s Who’s Next Community Leaders.
Commissioner Roth is a Pittsburgh-born attorney earning her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1991 and her undergraduate degree from Pitt in 1988. As in-house counsel for Diet Center Worldwide, Inc., GNC Franchising, Inc. and later in private practice, she focuses on business, franchising and licensing issues.
As President of ALEXDEAN, LLC Commissioner Roth developed and ran a reading/movement program for preschool children called Thinkadink and was Director of Operations for Mezes Foods, LLC.
As an advisor for a City Council candidate in 2015, Commissioner Roth helped shape a progressive platform that focused on fair housing, access to capital, minority and women-owned business and “ban the box.”
Marian Lien, Executive Director of the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition, was appointed to the Commission on May 2, 2017. For over 20 years, her interests and desires to create a more socially just society has led her down a professional path creating safer environments for patients in rural health care; teaching diversity in higher-ed; and building a more sustainable community. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy Management from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, and strives to understand how people’s lives can be enhanced through public and governmental systems.
Rabbi Sharyn Henry was appointed to serve on the Commission on Human Relations in April 2016 by Mayor William Peduto.
Commissioner Henry joined the staff of Rodef Shalom Congregation in Shadyside in 1999. She has served as Religious School Principal, Youth, Education, and Activities Director, Associate Rabbi, and Rabbi. As Rabbi, Commissioner Henry seeks to create new prayer initiatives and establish an environmentally-friendly section of the Congregation’s cemetery. Previously, Commissioner Henry held the positions of Rabbi/Educator at Temple Ohav Shalom in Allison Park, PA and Assistant Rabbi at The Temple—Congregation B’nai Jedudah in Kansas City, MO, where she was Kansas City’s first full-time female rabbi. Throughout her career, Commissioner Henry has focused on social action, inclusion, and worship.
Commissioner Henry earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, where she graduated with honors in Psychology. She received her Rabbinic Ordination with a Master’s in Hebrew Letters (MAHL) from the Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in Cincinnati. In 2013, Commissioner Henry was presented with an honorary doctorate by HUC-JIR for her 25 years of outstanding teaching of Reform Judaism’s faith, culture, and ethics.
After the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Commissioner Henry traveled to Haiti and taught women how to knit, helping them to heal and recover from the earthquake’s stresses and aftermath. She inspired several of the women to start their own businesses that sell knitted items and help provide for their families.
Commissioner Henry was recognized by Community Living and Support Services (CLASS) with a Humanitarian Award for her advocacy of equality and inclusion. She is a member of the Community Day School’s Board of Trustees.
Commissioner Wasiullah Mohamed was appointed to serve on the Commission on Human Relations in April 2016 by Mayor William Peduto.
Commissioner Mohamed currently serves as Executive Director of the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh. Commissioner Mohamed also serves as Director of Community Relations for Nourish International. Previously, Commissioner Mohamed worked as a Labor Rights Advocate with Americans for an Informed Democracy, a non-profit, non-partisan political advocacy organization.
Commissioner Mohamed earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Pittsburgh, where he completed majors in Neuroscience, Philosophy, and History and Philosophy of Science. At the University of Pittsburgh, Commissioner Mohamed served as Registration Chair for Pitt Make a Difference Day, Resident Assistant for the Office of Residence Life, and as Executive Board President of the Resident Student Association. In Spring 2012, Commissioner Mohamed founded the Office of Pitt Serves within the Division of Student Affairs. Commissioner Mohamed served as Executive Director of the Student Civic Engagement Council to help lead the Office of Pitt Serves during his time at the University of Pittsburgh.
Commissioner Mohamed has volunteered at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Pittsburgh and the Holy Spirit Hospital in Harrisburg, PA. As Service Chair of Beta Theta Pi, his collegiate fraternity, Commissioner Mohamed coordinated service projects with the Hazelwood YMCA, created four urban gardens in Hazelwood, and directed a tutoring program for Hazelwood students.
Winford R. Craig was first appointed to the Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations in June 2007 by Mayor Tom Murphy. Commissioner Craig was reappointed to the Commission by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl in April 2012 and by Mayor William Peduto in April 2015.
Commissioner Craig works as the Director of Information Technology and Director of STEM Programs at the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh. He has taught entrepreneurship and computer science at Robert Morris University and the Community College of Allegheny County, respectively.
Commissioner Craig earned his undergraduate degree at St. Vincent College. In 2012, Commissioner Craig received a Master’s Degree in Biblical Studies from the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Commissioner Craig is currently a graduate student at Waynesburg University, where he seeks to earn a Master’s of Business Administration, and Walden University, where he works towards a doctoral degree in Public Policy and Administration.
Commissioner Craig is very active in the community, serving as a member of the Wilkinsburg School District Technology Council, the Pittsburgh Board of Education Curriculum Development Committee, the Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School Board of Directors, the Allegheny County Regional Assets District (ARAD), and Western Pennsylvania’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Board. Commissioner Craig also serves as Chairperson of Wilkinsburg Weed and Seed.
Mariana Padias, the current Chair of the Commission, was appointed to the Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations by Mayor William Peduto in November 2014.
Commissioner Padias serves as Assistant General Counsel for the United Steelworkers International Union, where her legal practice includes federal labor law, contract enforcement, negotiations, education, and some international human rights work, as well as some defense litigation. Before becoming a lawyer, Mariana worked with undocumented immigrants and on union organizing campaigns.
Commissioner Padias earned her law degree and Master’s in Latin American Studies at the University of Arizona, writing her thesis on organizing undocumented workers. She received her undergraduate degree in Spanish and Creative Writing from Oberlin College. Commissioner Padias is a member of the AFL-CIO’s Lawyers Coordinating Committee, the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, and the American Bar Association. She is originally from Tucson, Arizona, and is fluent in Spanish.
Rev. Liddy Barlow was appointed to the Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations in March 2018. She currently serves as the Commission's secretary.
In April 2014, the Rev. Liddy Barlow became the first woman to be installed as Executive Minister of Christian Associates of Southwest Pennsylvania, greater Pittsburgh’s regional ecumenical agency. She reports to the Council of Bishops and Judicatory Executives, who represent 28 Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox church bodies. As Executive Minister, Rev. Barlow sets a vision for Christian Associates and manages all of the organization's projects and relationships.
Under her leadership, Christian Associates of Southwest Pennsylvania has made unanimous public statements on ending racism and welcoming refugees. She is a key organizer of public worship services and events, including interfaith services in support of immigrants, mourning lives lost at Mother Emanuel in Charleston, SC, and standing against bigotry after the demonstrations in Charlottesville, VA. Rev. Barlow edits Christian Associates’ publications, including The Call newsletter, The Word in Our Voices series of sermon collections, and worship resources produced in partnership with community organizations.
Through Christian Associates' ministry of connectedness, Rev. Barlow holds a variety of leadership roles in local organizations, serving as chair of the Allegheny County Emergency Food & Shelter Board, secretary of the Western PA Regional VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters), steering team member for All for All, planning team member for the Greater Pittsburgh Interfaith Coalition, and board member for the Foundation of HOPE and Pittsburgh Pastoral Institute. In 2015, she traveled to Israel and Palestine in the inaugural journey of Interfaith Partners for Peace.
Rev. Barlow is ordained in the United Church of Christ. She served for six years as Chair of the Pittsburgh Association Committee on Ministry, and was a member of the Habakkuk Group, a national United Church of Christ task force that rewrote the church's Manual on Ministry.
Richard L. Morris was appointed to the Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations in November 2014 by Mayor William Peduto. He currently serves as the Commission's second vice chair.
Commissioner Morris currently works as the Director of Housing for the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, where he is responsible for the Rental Assistance, Homeownership, Hunger Services, and Mortgage Foreclosure programs. Commissioner Morris previously held the position of Director of Resident Self-Sufficiency at the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh and was the principal consultant at R. Morris and Associates, a firm specializing in youth, workforce, and self-sufficiency programs. During his career, Commissioner Morris has held senior management positions with Pittsburgh Job Corps, worked in the Department of Corrections, and counseled addicted persons and youth with behavior issues.
Commissioner Morris earned a Master of Community Management degree from Antioch University. He actively volunteers with numerous community organizations.
Gwendolyn Young was appointed to serve on the Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations by Mayor William Peduto in April 2015. She currently serves as the Commission's treasurer.
Commissioner Young has worked actively in the field of education, focusing on Administration, Curriculum Development and Community Development. As the former Principal and President of Holy Rosary School in Homewood, Commissioner Young served on the transition committee for the Holy Rosary and St. James School merger, which formed the Sister Thea Bowman Catholic Academy in Wilkinsburg. Commissioner Young is a member of the administrative staff of Xavier University of Louisiana’s Institute for Black Catholic Studies Summer Theology Program.
Commissioner Young earned her undergraduate degree in Education from Dillard University. She received her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction and Master’s Degree in Pastoral Theology from Xavier University of Louisiana.
Commissioner Young's philosophy is predicated on a moral and ethical responsibility to make a difference in the lives of children by providing an academic environment respectful of children’s diverse learning styles and rooted in the celebration of Black history, culture and spirituality. A believer that strong families make strong communities, Commissioner Young serves on a number of boards which focus on education, parent-child relationships, and community enhancement. She is a member of the NAACP Pittsburgh Chapter and the Diocesan National Black Catholic Congress Team, a pastoral organization dedicated to improving the spiritual, mental, and physical conditions of African-Americans. Commissioner Young also serves on the boards of Simply Breathing, which brings the art of meditation to school-age children, and Softer Side Seminars, which focuses on encouraging self-esteem, entrepreneurial spirit, and self-expression in women and girls.