Human Rights Enhancement Program Information


The information provided below is intended to be an overview of the City of Columbia’s Human Rights Enhancement Program (HREP). For detailed information regarding the HREP funding process and policies, please refer to the Human Rights Enhancement Program Policy for City of Columbia.


Through the HREP, the City is interested in contracting with local organizations to provide human rights educational services in our community.  Services pertaining to the issues of discrimination, diversity, inclusion, tolerance, multicultural education and related human rights issues are considered for funding.  The HREP is also intended to encourage collaboration between organizations and individuals concerned with human rights issues and assist them with leveraging other monies in the support of these issues.

Organizations submitting funding proposals should consider how their program service addresses human rights issues in our community specifically related to Article III, Chapter 12 of the of the Columbia Code of Ordinances (Human Rights Ordinance).

The City of Columbia Commission on Human Rights (HRC) makes recommendations to the City Manager for purchasing human rights enhancement services. The HRC is comprised of seven citizen volunteers appointed by the City Council. Staff assistance is provided by the City of Columbia Law Department.

Contracts for human rights enhancement educational services utilizing HREP funding are solicited on an on-going basis utilizing a standing Request for Proposals (RFP) process. HREP funding is made available annually, subject to budget appropriation, based on the City’s fiscal year (October 1 – September 30). The HREP RFP for each fiscal year is issued on a first come, first served basis from August 16 through August 15 (or until all funding is allocated).

HREP proposals can be submitted at any time, as long as funding is available; however, program services purchased with HREP funding must be delivered within 12 months of the execution of the contract with the City. Therefore, organizations should not submit proposals for program services expected to be delivered more than 12 months from the time the proposal is submitted.

Proposals submitted by the 15th of each month are considered at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the HRC. The consideration of HREP proposals is listed as an agenda item on the corresponding HRC meeting agenda. Submitting organizations are not required to attend the meeting at which their proposal is being considered; however, it is highly recommended that a representative of the organization attend in order to address any questions about the proposal from the commission or staff.

If HREP funding is recommended by the HRC for a proposed program service, this recommendation is forwarded to the City Manager for approval. Subject to approval by the City Manager and the availability of funds, the Law Department contracts for HREP funded program services.