— The Orange County Human Rights Commission is now seeking nominations for its 2017 awards.

Now in its 22nd 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, 128 individuals, organizations, or businesses from Orange County have been recognized.

“Each year, these awards highlight those in Orange County that have advanced human rights in Orange County,” County Executive Steven Neuhaus said. “I appreciate the important work done by these individuals and the Human Rights Commission. These men and women provide our residents with hope and I look forward to honoring the winners. As in previous years, I know that we will receive several impressive entries for the award.”

ConsiderHuman Rights Commission Chair Fred Cook invites the public to nominate candidates for the 2017 award. To be considered, eligible candidates will have:

• Enriched the quality of life in Orange County by building better relationships among diverse people and encouraging them to participate in community life on an equal basis.

• Fostered mutual respect and understanding among individuals of different races or national origin.

• Relieved tension and conflict between racial, religious or nationality groups;

• Helped to eliminate discrimination in Orange County.

Essential informationNominees must either live or work in Orange County and may be from any field, including, but not limited to, education, law enforcement, public service, human services, industry, small and large business and not-for-profit agencies.

Completed nomination forms must be postmarked no later than Feb. 17.

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

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