Commission on Civil Rights reappoints St. George resident to State Advisory Committee

St George – The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights announced last the appointment of 17 members to the Utah State Advisory Committee.

Of those appointments listed  is Virginius “Jinks” Dabney, of St George. This will be Dabney’s third appointment to the committee.

Commission Member Dabney. St George UT 06/16/2014 | Photo provided by Commission member Dabney.
Commission Member Dabney. St George UT 06/16/2014 | Photo provided by Commission member Dabney.

“I have practiced civil rights law a long time ago. I am active in the NAACP,” Dabney said.

State advisory committee members conduct reviews and produce reports and recommendations concerning local civil rights issues, including justice, voting, discrimination, housing and education. Congress mandates that the federal Commission appoint volunteer members to advisory committees in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Appointees to the state advisory committees serve two-year terms.

Dabney went on to say that he did not see a lot of civil rights concerns in St George, adding that there are some strong feelings regarding immigration.

“I don’t understand a lot of the feelings, and why there is that kind of concern,” Dabney said. “We will probably be doing some meetings down here to have the public come in and explain those to us, to see if there is something that requires our attention and involvement.”

He also commented on the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints community Hidale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona.

The FLDS community raises some pretty interesting issues, as far as civil rights go,” Dabney said. “The lost boys for example, is an issue this committee can handle, and the civil rights commission is concerned about.”

Dabney said he has some personal involvement in this issue, knowing several people who have set out rescuing the boys. He said that there are some issue’s that still need to be addressed from a civil rights stand point.

Addressing Amendment 3, Utah’s same-sex marriage ban, Dabney said:   “As a commission member I don’t support either side of the Amendment 3 debate.”

Amendment 3  was struck down by a federal district judge last year. The case is currently awaiting a ruling from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on whether or not the ruling will be upheld or overturned.

“As a lawyer and having done civil rights, the district court judge was right, and the Supreme Court will affirm it,” Dabney said.

He said that it is not an issue that the committee will probably deal with, as it is in litigation. “I don’t think it’s a political issue, it’s a legal issue, and the legal system will decide it,” he said.

“Utah has a long-standing record of addressing issues of civil rights and I applaud the committee’s continued commitment,” Commission Staff Director Marlene Sallo said.

Past Utah State Advisory Committee investigations addressed discrimination in employment, law enforcement, and against Native Americans in border town communities. The committee will meet for the first time in July to consider its plans and priorities.

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is an independent, bipartisan agency charged with advising the president and Congress on civil rights matters, studying civil rights issues, and issuing a federal civil rights enforcement report.

The protection and preservation of our civil rights is as important today as it was 50 years ago, and as pertinent in preparing for the 50 years that lie ahead. We members of the Utah State Advisory Committee are pleased to participate in this process of promoting these principles for all people in the State of Utah,” Committee Chair Joanne Milner said.

For information about Commission’s reports and meetings, visit its website.

Overall, individuals from across Utah appointed appointed to the committee include:

  • Joanne R. Milner of Salt Lake City, chair
  • Rosa M. Martinez of Payson
  • Chyleen A. Arbon of Cottonwood Heights
  • Anthony A. Peacock of Logan
  • Glenn L. Bailey of Salt Lake City
  • Clifford JRosky of Salt Lake City
  • William H. Coleman of Park City
  • Betty O. Sawyer of Ogden
  • Virginius “Jinks” Dabney of St. George
  • Richard K. Sherlock of Logan
  • Yolanda K. Francisco-Nez of Sandy
  • Scott A. Trujillo of Salt Lake City
  • Michael W. Homer of Salt Lake City
  • Filia (Phil) H. Uipi of Salt Lake City
  • Ronnow Kaelin of Lehi
  • Gloria T. Wilkinson of Sandy
  • Edward L. Lewis, Jr. of Salt Lake City



U.S. Commission on Civil Rights – website

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  • Bender June 16, 2014 at 11:34 pm

    Virginius “Jinks” Dabney – that name can’t stop being awesome.

  • JAR June 17, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Is the Commission of Civil Right a paid position by the government or are they voluntary with paid expenses?

    • Joyce Kuzmanic June 17, 2014 at 10:49 am

      If you got notification of my first response which I’m editing here, JAR, I first thought you were asking about the Washington County Commissioners. Wrong story in my mind, so let me try again. Following is the mission statement of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which may answer your questions:
      “The Civil Rights Act of 1957 created the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Since then, Congress has reauthorized or extended the legislation creating the Commission several times; the last reauthorization was in 1994 by the Civil Rights Commission Amendments Act of 1994.
      Established as an independent, bipartisan, fact-finding federal agency, our mission is to inform the development of national civil rights policy and enhance enforcement of federal civil rights laws. We pursue this mission by studying alleged deprivations of voting rights and alleged discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin, or in the administration of justice. We play a vital role in advancing civil rights through objective and comprehensive investigation, research, and analysis on issues of fundamental concern to the federal government and the public.”
      To learn more about the commission, here is a link to its website:
      I do hope that helps, thank you for the question. 😀
      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

  • JAR June 17, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    Thank you Joyce for the information and link to the website.
    And again, thank you for the best news site around. None better.

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