Human Rights Hall of Fame

Hands of different colors reaching upwardsAbout the Hall of Fame

In March 2001, the Montgomery County Office of Human Rights inducted the first 20 honorees into the Human Rights Hall of Fame. Since March 2002, the induction ceremony is held biennially. The inductees are honored for having made great personal sacrifices and contributions to human and civil rights in Montgomery County, either as trailblazers of the past or as current foot soldiers in the struggle.

2016 Inductee Recipients

The Montgomery County Office of Human Rights (OHR) hosed its tenth biennial Human Rights Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony to honor individuals who have made great personal sacrifices in contributing to human and civil rights in Montgomery County, either as trailblazers of the past or as current light bearers in the struggle. The Human Rights Hall of Fame mission is to recognize visionary leadership, outstanding achievement, and altruism on the road to eliminating discrimination, diminishing the effects of discrimination, and advancing human rights.

Six residents were inducted into the Human Rights Hall of Fame by the Montgomery County Office of Human Rights (OHR). The honorees were recognized for their visionary leadership, outstanding achievements and altruism on the road to eliminating discrimination and advancing human rights. 

The following individuals were inducted at the 2016 ceremony:

Mindy G. Farber – Mindy co-founded and co-organized the mediation program for the Montgomery County Office of Human Rights, which has successfully settled thousands of cases since its inception. Mindy has also served as a volunteer mediator since the program began and continues to serve as a technical advisor to the Office.
Mindy has served on the Empowerment Panel of the Office Commission for Women, Vice President of the Montgomery County American Civil Liberties Union and President of the Montgomery County Women's Bar Association, mentoring scores of women. 
Mindy is a well-regarded civil rights attorney and is responsible for changing epilepsy laws in D.C., so that people with epilepsy could serve as firefighters and police, worked with the first transgender case within the federal government an won a local federal case that has extensive media coverage that held that employees do not have to speak English if their work does not necessitate it.
Mindy founded two scholarships for needy students at John Hopkins University and does pro bono work for members of the Latino community and its constantly looking for ways to serve her community.

Morris Hudson – Since 1984 and now some nearly 30 years later Gunnery Sergeant Morris Hudson has focused on changing the lives of young men. What began in between military deployments would flourish into a life-long commitment and an outlet to almost 3,000 students to develop real work skills through tough love and community service. For children of disadvantaged or loveless homes, B.R.O.T.H.E.R.S. (Brothers Raching Out to Help Each Reach Success) meetings were a save haven form overworked parents, abusive situations and peer pressure. Throught strict discipline in the program high levels of achievement was reached by his predominately black youth in the program. Graduation rates and percentages of those going on to junior college and universities was unmatched anywhere in the Montgmery Count School System.
Morris Hudson changed lives and increase the human potential that so often gets lost and misguided never fulfilling their destiny for greatness. Social conditions often dictate the futures for Black and Hispanic and Asian children, even White children from helping their peers but B.R.O.T.H.E.R.S. and now I AM College Ready nurtures the human capacity to help one another by showing these young men that their success is inherent in the success of their brother.

Sharan London – An advocate for the homeless, Sharan just could not close her eyes to the conditions of those in need of shelter in her community. In her role as the new Executive Director of the Montgomery Count Coalition for the Homeless (MCCH) Sharan took the "bare bones" organization and immediately began finding ways to make housing available for as many people as possible. From the first major grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the amount of $1.8 million, the organization went from housing men in construction trailers to three safe havens which provided shelter and services for homeless women who had chronic mental illness.
This was only the beginning and for the next 15 years Sharan was on a mission establishing a public-private partnership with local government and builders to construct the Home Builders Care Assessment Center, a men's emergency shelter now serving some 800 men. Supportive housing for families and individuals with disabilities and permanent housing in partnership with the Montgomry Count Department of Health and Human Services and the Housing Opportunity Commission were some 133 families, 265 children and 64 single adults reside in scattered housing sites. And more permanent housing for in the Seneca Heights Permanent Housing Program, the Coalition Homes, Inc., the Home First Program serving the chronically homeless, the Creative Housing Initiative and Cordell Place currently housing 32 single men and women owned and renovated by Coalition Home.
Sharan continues her fight to eradicate homelessness as a consultant and advisor to local government and the entire community.

Terry Vann – Terry Vann is a retired federal employee whose work has been in the legal field for a number of federal agencies to include the National Labor Relations Board and the Merit Systems protection board where he served as Chief Legal Counsel to the Chairman. His civil rights background began with the "Sit Ins" in Durham, N.C.; picket lines and protesting working conditions in Darlington, S.C. and continued fighting injustices in Arlington, Virginia and volunteering at Resurrection City in Washington, D.C. in the 1960's.
His work in Mongtomery County has centered around advocacy and mediation on civil rights concerns and complaints. Terry is a unifier and fighter against discrimination working across racial and religious lines and ethnicities. Terry had mediated hundreds of cases alleging discrimination in many areas to include the workplace, housing, and public accommodations and have been able to come up with settlements and long term solutions to their problems.
He served on the Montgomery Couny Ethics Commission, Member of the Montgomery County Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Committee, Officer of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington and Coordinator of the Synagogue President's Council, board member of the Interfaith Conference of Greater Washington, member of the Conflict Resolution Center and volunteer mediator for the Montgomery County Office of Human Rights and the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights and the Federal Executice Board.

Arthur L. Williams – Art Williams is a retired federal employee from the Department of Defense where he worked as Mathematician, Research Analyst and Computer Scientist for some 35 years.
He has been a tireless advocate and community activist and served on a number of committees and boards and is a life member of the NAACP and served on its executive committee. His lifelong passion has always been about education and welfare of black youth. Mr. Williams has served on the Commission on Children and Youth and was the county's representative to the state on matters involving children and youth. He was President of Home Study, Inc. serving young people in fifteen indigent African American communities in Montgomery County taking on the role of teacher, coach and mentor.
He serves as Chair of the 1977-ll Action Group which has advocated for improvement of African American student retention and graduation rates, prevention of in-school and external suspension of Afican American students in the Montgomery County Public School System. As an advocate for greater access to AP courses, foreign languages courses and enrichment programs for African American students, Coach Williams works tirelessly on improving the human condition of the African American community by building capacity an empowering its young people to strive for and achieve excellence.

Laura Anderson Wright –An attorney by profession, Laura Anderon Wright is also an educator, historian and museum curator. She has made her mark throughout Montgomery County serving on a number of boards and commissions including the Montgomery County Commisison for Women, Montgomery County Historical Society, Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County, and the Silver Spring Presbyterian Church Children's Center; and is a current board member for Heritage Montgomery.
Through her leadership and pioneering spirit, she is dedicated to revitalizing places from the past that had significant cultural and civil rights significance to African American communities in Montgomery County. By her efforts, the Historic Odd Fellow Lodge will again become a community-based venue for cultural, social and educational opportunities that will ensure a richer understanding of the African American experience in Montgomery County, and multicultural understanding across all ethnic groups. Complementing her activities with the Lodge, she is an advocate to teach and educate children and youth about their heritage, rights and possibilities to survive in and contribute to civil society. Her efforts to achieve these objectives are manifested in her keen and active participation in providing opportunities for children of all ethnic backgrounds in programs housed at the Sandy Spring Slave Museum and African Art Gallery. Through the Museum's activities, hundreds of K-12 students participate in programs relevant to historical and contemporary life in America. Although the historical aspects of slavery and civil rights are emphasized, the students are exposed to concepts of freedom, civil liberties, governance and their heritage.