Established in 1951 under the Home Rule Charter, the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR) is the agency empowered to enforce Philadelphia’s civil rights laws and deal with all matters of intergroup conflicts within the city. The Commission is comprised of nine Commissioners appointed by the Mayor.
Through its Compliance Division, the Commission investigates formal complaints of unlawful discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and the delivery of city services on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, marital status, or source of income. It also conducts trainings, public hearings, and informational and educational sessions to inform Philadelphians about their rights and obligations under the civil rights laws of the City. When necessary, Commissioners decide disputed claims at public adjudicatory hearings.
Through its Community Relations Division, the Commission utilizes conflict resolution and mediation techniques and conducts public hearings for informational and educational purposes to ease intergroup and community tensions. The recommendations outlined in this Report fall within the authority and jurisdiction of the Commission’s Community Relations Division.