HREI community

Board of Directors

President’s Message

At the Human Rights Education Institute it is our mission to celebrate diversity and human rights by educating, raising awareness, and recognizing the value of all humanity.

Our mission statement listed above is at the very heart of what we do everyday. HREI was created over 20 years ago to serve our community and we are excited to be here today continuing that mission.  For me, the work that HREI does for our community and surrounding communities is to share a message of love and humility. There is an abundance of love in our community—and I’m so grateful for it—and like many other communities there are still challenges that that we must face. 

HREI addresses a wide range of diversity issues including race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic class, age, sexual orientation, religion, disability, and job and life circumstances.   We partner with many organizations and businesses to address these issues because we know that we are stronger when we are together. Brené Brown brings powerful insight sharing –“We don’t have to do all of it alone. We were never meant to.”

A quote from Margaret J. Wheatley also resonates in me –”There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.”  Will you be a beacon of hope and a beacon of change? Will you stand with us on this journey to inspire a community of togetherness that celebrates our differences and looks to build each other up? I hope your answer is “yes” because we need you. This is a continuing effort and we are excited to lead it!

Please help us educate and inform students in our schools, through our programs and activities. Let us provide workshops and training for educators and the business community.  We can only do our work through your generous financial contributions and volunteer support.

My thanks to you on behalf of the HREI Board of Directors and staff,

Jason Tapani

Jason Tapani


US Bank

Sara Shay

Vice President

Pixx Studios

Frances Lepinski


Jerm Designs

Zoe O'Brien


Lake City High School

Connie Anderson, CPO-CD

Board Member

Anderson Organizing

Linda Deffenbaugh

Board Member

Retired Educator

Christina Lee

Board Member

1st Touch Foundation

Our Staff

Jeanette Laster

Executive Director

Chris Brooks

Intern Coordinator

Open Opportunity

HERO Program Coordinator

Kathy Gurko

Community Resources & Engagement Coordinator

AmeriCorps VISTA

Carol Hudson

Administrative Coordinator

Brad Nelson

Administrative Assistant

Thomas Hansen

Marketing Specialist

Mai Xiong

Administrative Assistant – Accounting

Tiffany Tolsten-Lopez

Event Specialist

Auxi Hughes

Administrative Assistant – Accounting

Meredith DePrisco-Gaffney

Program Specialist

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414 W. Fort Grounds Dr. Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814


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