The Power of One... The Strength of Many

Board of Directors


JoAnn Harvey


Education and Programs Committees, Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations Representative

JoAnn Harvey is a native of Idaho and a member of the Nez Perce Tribe. Ms. Harvey earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Eastern Washington University and a Master of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University. She has since attended various universities to further study diversity, human and civil rights, and the issues of American Indian/Alaska Natives. Ms. Harvey was employed by the Coeur d’Alene Public School District from 1986 as a Physical Education/Health Specialist until retiring. She is the Secretary-Treasurer for the North Idaho Retired Chapter of Educators, an affiliate of IEA and NEA, and serves on the U.S. Selective Service Board for Region 3.

She is the immediate past president of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations and served as a board of director member of the Coeur d’Alene Education Association, State Board of Education Professional Development Committee, National Education Association, and the Idaho Education Association, where she received the Minority Service Award. She has also served as a board of director member of the Museum of North Idaho, and was the chair of the National American Indian/Alaska Native Caucus. She was the Select Attendee to Education International in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Cape Town, South Africa, and Berlin, Germany.

JoAnn has received multiple awards and accolades for human and civil rights from organizations here in in North Idaho. In 2009 she was awarded the Civil Rights Volunteer of the Year Award by the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations (KCTFHR.) The University of Idaho satellite in Coeur d’Alene honored her as a commencement speaker for the 2013 graduating class. Most recently, in 2015, she received the Hayden Chamber of Commerce Civil Rights Award.

Jason HeadshotJason Lucas

Vice President

Marketing  and Communications Committee

Jason brings 28 years of advertising industry experience to HREI. Born in Manhattan to a family of renowned music and advertising professionals, he was taught by great mentors from childhood. While in New York he worked with 4/4 Productions and David Lucas Associates on countless projects for clients from McDonald’s to Ford to KFC to Coke. In 2000 he became a VP and Creative Directed at Axcess Broadcast Services in Dallas, where he co-wrote and co-produced over 1,500 turn-key television advertising campaigns for local and regional businesses around the country. In 2008 he wrote and produced for the Miracle Project in Los Angeles, which featured artists like Chaka Khan, Rev Run, Ed Roland, Jason Alexander and more. Jason feels it is of equal or greater value that he has also been honored to serve many employers over the years as a waiter, dishwasher, custodian, courier, limo driver, scissors salesman, secretary and karaoke guy. Today Jason owns Lucas Production Group, LLC, serving the Greater Spokane and Coeur d’Alene area.


Frances Lepinski


Fundraising and Finance Committees


JasonTapaniJason Tapani

Marketing and Communications Committee

For Jason, human rights have always been heavy on his heart. He believes there should be love, respect, dignity, and equality for all. Jason is a graduate of Lewis-Clark State College and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts. For 3 years at North Idaho College he worked on filming the Public Forum with Tony Stewart. Tony was an advocate of human rights and Jason worked with him to bring human rights awareness to the community. As an undergraduate student he worked with the HREI to update our website years ago, and that served as Jason’s first exposure to the HREI.

Lita - Picture

 Lita Burns

Past President

Education and Programs Committees

Lita Burns has been a resident of Coeur d’Alene since 2001. She moved to Idaho from her home state of Wyoming to accept the Director of Health Professions and Nursing position at North Idaho College, she currently serves as the Vice President for Instruction at NIC.  Lita earned her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from the University of Wyoming, a Master of Science degree in nursing from the University of Colorado, and a PhD in Leadership Studies from Gonzaga University.

VirginiaPhotoVirginia Mesenbrink

Resource Development Committee

Virginia’s interest in celebrating diversity and promoting inclusion, kindness and compassion for all people began during her formative years and developed over the years into a lifelong commitment to promote equality and support opportunities for marginalized individuals and communities to participate fully in their broader community. She grew up in a culturally diverse area of southern California, and later attended Coeur d’Alene High School. She attended North Idaho College and University of Idaho to earn her Bachelors degree in engineering which was then applied to the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Keyport where she became the first Hispanic female engineer, and served on the Hispanic Employment Program Committee to improve cultural awareness of Hispanics and increase their representation in the Navy. Virginia’s chief goal is to take an active role in educating and transforming the community.

For more information, please stop by our location (414 W. Fort Grounds Dr., Coeur d'Alene), call 208-292-2359, or email
Hours: 10 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday
Special Events

Unity Day Concert
and Human Rights Teen Symposium

Our events page has our latest events for
the public to join. Our events are usually
free or low cost to all that attend.

Thank You

Special Thanks
to All Donators

We would like to thank all of our donors
for their contributions. Please see our
donor-listing page.

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