The Newark Division is proud to honor Dr. Joan Rivitz for promoting human and civil rights. In 2003, Dr. Rivitz was appointed the New Jersey commissioner of civil rights and serves as chairperson of the New Jersey Commission on Civil Rights. As a member of the New Jersey Coalition for Bullying Awareness and Prevention, Dr. Rivitz has worked to end childhood bullying. She serves on the Bergen-Passaic County Board of the American Conference on Diversity and the Board of Education of the Hovnanian School in New Milford, New Jersey.
Dr. Rivitz’s humanitarianism is evident through her dedication to public awareness and education about the Holocaust. She is chairperson of the advisory board of the New Jersey Human Relations Council and is the associate director of the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education. Dr. Rivitz served as the co-chairperson of the 58th Annual International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies Conference, which afforded representatives from around the world an opportunity to discuss human rights issues together. Dr. Rivitz has conducted sessions such as “Learning from the Lessons of the Past and Applying These Lessons to the Present Day” and has worked as a committee member of the New Jersey Summit Against Hate.
Dr. Rivitz serves as the coordinator and director of a financial grant made to the FBI National Citizens Academy and awarded to the Newark chapter. The America Healing: A Racial Equity Initiative, which was applied to the city of Newark, was made possible through statewide community outreach. Law enforcement officers, gang members, clergy, non-profit organizations and community leaders worked together in an unprecedented effort to help Newark’s youth resist gang activity.
Dr. Rivitz’s name is inscribed on The Wall of Tolerance in Alabama in recognition of her efforts to take a personal and public stand against hate, injustice, and intolerance.