The Human Rights Department has a total of three (3) staff members with an office located on the first floor of City Hall. We welcome the opportunity to speak to you or your organization about community education, outreach, or individual technical assistance.

Panelists from HRC’s 2019 Annual Dinner

Aida Ramirez is a Northwest Indiana native who joined the Commission in 2013 as Deputy Director before being promoted to Director the following year. Aida received her Doctor of Jurisprudence from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis and obtained undergraduate and graduate degrees at Purdue University in West Lafayette.

Prior to moving to Columbus and joining the Commission, Aida worked with the Marion County Circuit Court to increase access to justice in the Marion County Small Claims Courts by implementing the 2012 Indiana Court of Appeals Task Force Recommendations. Specific objectives were increasing access to justice for Limited-English Proficient persons and those with physical and hearing impairments, decreasing barriers to participation in the pro se litigant process by providing draft uniform court forms and a litigant manual explaining the process and making it available to the public online, and providing technical assistance and guidance in drafting local Marion County Small Claims Rules aimed at achieving these objectives and increasing transparency in the courts.

Department StaffOrganizational Chart (PDF) 

Aida Ramírez, J.D.
Human Rights Director
Phone: 812.376.2532

Erica Schmidt, MPA
Human Rights Deputy Director
Phone: 812.376.2532

Ricardo Gamboa
Human Rights Administrative Assistant
Phone: 812.376.2532

Human Rights Commission

NameTermExpiresAppointed By
Annette Barnes3 Years3/31/22City Council
Sondra Bolte3 Years3/31/22City Council
Trena Carter3 Years3/31/23City Council
Mike Champlin3 Years3/31/23City Council
Richard Gold3 Years3/31/22City Council
Joy King3 Years3/31/23City Council
Gregory S. Lewis3 Years3/31/21City Council
Claudia Sanchez Davila2 Years3/31/21City Council
Matt Souza *3 Years3/31/22City Council
*Chairperson of Commission

Department Attorney: Mary Stroh, Assistant City Attorney
City Council Liaison: Tim Shuffett

Location: The meetings are held in the Council Chambers at City Hall. **In order to take necessary COVID-19 precautions and keep in compliance with Open Door Law (ODL) meetings are being held virtually with phone access until further notice. Virtual and in-person meetings are open to the public.** 

The monthly Human Rights Commission meetings are held on the last Wednesday of the month, with the exception of November and December due to the holidays.


2021 Officers
Chairperson – Matt Souza
Vice Chairperson – Joy King
Secretary – Annette Barnes
Treasurer – Trena Carter

Apply here to be a Commissioner.