New Prince George’s County Human Rights Commissioner Johnathan Medlock has been on the job for no more than six months, but he is already working to make a difference for the official organization charged with dealing with rights and discrimination.

Prince George’s County Human Rights Commissioner, Johnathan Medlock is working diligently to make a difference in his post, particularly focusing on discrimination and mental health. (Courtesy Photo)

A commissioner in District Heights, Md. Medlock said the Human Rights Commission (HRC), where he is one of 13-members, offers him the perfect platform to advocate and make changes in the law, particularly mental health, which has become a nationwide topic following the shootings in Lakewood, Fla.

“Prior to becoming an elected official, I was always involved in community engagement, education and empowerment, and I continued to work in the community once elected as a Commissioner of District Heights,” Medlock told the AFRO.

“As the civil rights arm for Prince George’s County, the Human Relations Commission offered a platform for me to be on the front line, supporting not only my residents in District Heights, but also the residents of Prince George’s County. With the current civic climate in our nation, it was important to me that I demonstrated that I care about issues that hurt my community,” Medlock said.

Medlock told the AFRO that he has a very simple, but important bucket list.

He wants to champion issues related to mental health services and is committed to working with state officials to increase support services for psychiatric patients. “We will also work with the State’s Attorney’s office to ensure that people experiencing mental health crises are treated like patients in need of care and compassion instead of merely as offenders,” Medlock told the AFRO.

“I also want to continue efforts to ban the box that negatively impact people with criminal backgrounds who desire to be contributing members of society. The box on application forms open a door for discriminatory hiring that negatively impacts the individual and the community at large,” he said.

Medlock said he will bring the same passion to his new job as he had with civic engagement where he supports a variety of causes, including, but not limited to supporting victims of domestic violence or helping to organize the “Feed the Hood Program,” with National Black Front, District Heights Civic Coalition, District Heights Community Education Advocates, District Heights Citizen Action Patrol and is a member of 100 Black Men of Prince George’s County. He also serves at the Board of Directors Chairman for the Brave Heart Entrepreneurial Youth Camp (BEYC) and for the past seven years has served as mentor to African American boys in need of strong male role models. Medlock also is a member of the Maryland Municipal League, National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials and Blacks in Government.