— The Orange County Human Rights Commission is now seeking nominations for its 2018 awards.

Now in its 23rd year, the Human Rights awards program honors those who have made a significant contribution to advance human rights and eliminate discrimination.

Since the award’s inception in 1995, 133 individuals or groups from Orange County have been recognized.

“The awards highlight those in Orange County that have advanced human rights,” said County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus. “These men and women exemplify what our Human Rights Commission stands for and provide residents with compassion and hope. I know that we will once again receive several impressive nominations for the awards.”

“The commission annually celebrates the contributions of extraordinary individuals or groups making a difference in Orange County,” said Inaudy Esposito, Orange County’s Executive Director of Human Rights. “The awards provide an opportunity to highlight the amazing work that is being done locally and the people making a difference.”

The nomination will demonstrate how the nominee meets at least one of the following criteria:

The criteria• Fosters mutual respect and understanding and build better relations among diverse groups in Orange County;

• Works towards the development of equity for oppressed groups in our community;

• Relieves tension and conflict between racial, religious, sexual orientation or nationality groups; or

• Works to create awareness of and/or eliminate or reduce discrimination in Orange County.

The human rights contributions must be happening in Orange County and may be from any field, including, but not limited to: education, law enforcement, public service, human services industry, social justice, volunteering and not-for-profit work.

Essential informationCompleted nomination forms must be received no later than Feb. 20.

Nomination forms are available on the Human Rights Commission page on the County website www.orangecountygov.com/humanrights, or by calling Esposito at 615-3680.

Entries should be emailed to: humanrights@orangecountygov.com or mailed to: Orange County Human Rights Commission, 18 Seward Ave., Suite 203, Middletown, N.Y. 10940.