Kicking off a new round of Wellbeing Microgrants!

To all who applied or spread the word about Microgrants this round: Thank you!

We are very excited for what this new group has to bring and will be sharing more about each of their individual projects in the coming weeks.

The Human Relations Council is the fiscal receiver of the Wellbeing Microgrants Program. The Microgrants were brought to the HRC by Civic Wellbeing Partners, and are made possible through funding by Cedars-Sinai.

To get connected with any of these great projects through June 2022, please email

Apply for a 2022 Wellbeing Microgrant!

Wellbeing Microgrants 2022 Applications are OPEN! Wellbeing Microgrants are a new approach to engage and support individuals looking to make a positive change in their community. Designed to empower local action, Civic Wellbeing Partners provides up to $500 for ideas that are focused on small scale projects to improve community wellbeing. Get started with your application here.

Applications close February 25, 2022. Apply or share this incredible opportunity with your community today!

Black History Month 2022

Black History Month (February) is a time to celebrate and learn about the history and accomplishments of the Black community since this aspect of American history has not been as widely taught and discussed in the mainstream as it should be. Equally important is bringing awareness to issues that affect the Black community by engaging in dialogue, sparking thought through avenues such as art, and inspiring action to make positive changes. The theme for Black History Month 2022 is Black Health and Wellness. Learn more and see local Black History events in Santa Monica here.

Black History Month 2021

The City of Santa Monica presents several of Black History Month events under the theme The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity. Learn more at

February 2020 Dinner & Dialogue Event

9/21/19 League of Women Voters’ Fall Kickoff Gathering

Be sure to see HRC’s own Dr. Karen Gunn at tomorrow’s League of Women Voters Fall Kickoff Gathering!

October Dinner & Dialogue!

The 2019 Mark J. Benjamin Community Impact Award Recipients

Congratulations to Terri Decker and Barbara Inatsugu

Terri Decker, No Limits for Deaf & Hard of Hearing Children

Terri Decker, born and raised in Santa Monica, recently retired after 45 years of retail banking. Terri began volunteering as a teen. She has been active in many local charitable and civic organizations and has served on many nonprofit boards over the years. Currently, Terri is Board President of No Limits for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children, the organization which nominated Ms. Decker for the award.
Congratulations Terri!
Thank you for your service to our community!
Barbara Inatsugu, League of Women Voters of Santa Monica

Barbara Inatsugu has been involved in the Santa Monica community since moving here from Hawaii in 1982. She has been active in PTA, locally and at the state level, for all of the years her children attended Santa Monica schools. In 1992, she joined the League of Women Voters of Santa Monica where she has been very active locally and also on the state level. The League of Women Voters nominated Ms. Inatsugu for the award. Congratulations Barbara!
Thank you for your service to our community!

To learn more about the Mark J. Benjamin Community Awards visit

Not For the Faint of Heart

Identifying Old Patterns & Creating New Tapestries of Community Life

A Sunday Gathering by the Baha’i Center featuring Dr. Ruha Benjamin to speak about everyday racism, spirituality, and social change.

All are welcome. Sunday, July 21st, Santa Monica Baha’i Center, 3102 Colorado Avenue, 90404

2019 Mark J. Benjamin Impact Awards Program

Now Accepting Nominations for 2019 Mark J. Benjamin Impact Awards

The Human Relations Council Santa Monica Bay Area is a non-profit organization that promotes a culture of fair treatment, inclusion and equal access to opportunities.

The HRC Santa Monica Bay Area is pleased to announce the call for nominations for the

2019 Mark J. Benjamin Community Impact Awards Program

The goal of the HRC’s Mark J. Benjamin Community Impact Awards Program is to recognize individuals who, through their behavior and commitment, are role models for a respectful and socially just community and whose involvement with community organizations as a volunteer contributes to and impacts building an inclusive community. Our honorees are people who:

(1) Promote understanding within our diverse community,
(2) Take actions that make a difference, and
(3) Demonstrate compassion for others.

Our program is named for Mark Benjamin – a true hero who gave generously and thoughtfully in support of our community. He exemplified who Studs Terkel described when he wrote, “Heroes are not giant statues framed against a red sky. They are people who say: This is my community, and it is my responsibility to make it better.”

On May 26, 2013, the HRC board honored Mark Benjamin, President and CEO of Santa Monica-based Morley Builders for his thoughtfulness and generosity in supporting the work of the HRC. On September 29, 2013, Mark lost his life in a tragic accident.

We invite you to participate in the MJB Community Impact Awards Program by nominating someone who represents both your organization’s mission and the HRC’s goals.  Please complete the Nomination Form and submit to

The Nominations Period is from May 1, 2019 through June 14, 2019. All nominations must be submitted by 5:00 pm on June 14, 2019 via email to:

Robert F. Kennedy observed, “Each time a person stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others…he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current.”

The HRC believes it is the sum of the modest, ongoing activities of many that lead to enduring change. Too often, these efforts go unrecognized. The HRC is asking you to help us identify members of our community who are making a significant impact and allow us to bring their work to center stage.

If you have questions, please check out our website: or contact by email:

Mark J. Benjamin Community Impact Awards
Honoring “Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things”

Awardees will be honored at a special event on the evening of September 11, 2019.