Bringing Civil Rights into Perspective
As Director of the DOT Office of Civil Rights (DOCR), it is my honor to help mark the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 20th Anniversary of the Executive Order on Environmental Justice. The Civil Rights Act and the Executive Order are not ideas lost to history, only to be remembered with the passing of significant milestone anniversaries. Nor are they noteworthy only to Civil Rights professionals.
Every day, here at the DOCR, we work to ensure that all Americans benefit from a transportation system that is fair and just.
And next week, we’ll host a Virtual Civil Rights Symposium to discuss the best ways to help make that happen.
Does your office work with programs or activities that receive Federal funding? Title VI of the Civil Rights Act requires that these programs and activities be free of discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin. What about in the workplace? Title VII prohibits discrimination and protects employees from retaliation for participating in the complaint process. Are you a part of transportation decisions that affect low-income or minority communities? The Executive Order on Environmental Justice mandates that these groups are involved in the planning process.
Here at DOT, it is our responsibility to ensure that the Department remains not only a diverse and inclusive work environment, but also one where the exchange of ideas and perspectives helps solve the nation’s transportation challenges of today and tomorrow...for all Americans.
On February 4th, 5th, and 6th, our Virtual Civil Rights Symposium, with the theme of “Broadening Perspectives,” will bring a renewed focus on making civil rights and equal opportunity part of the everyday operational work in transportation.
By hosting the conference online, we're ensuring that participants from across the country will be able to take part in this important forum. We invite a diverse audience of federal, state, and local government employees; civil rights and environmental justice advocates; and interested stakeholders--that includes you--to join us in these discussions on how civil rights can and should impact transportation planning and decision making.
From learning how to mitigate the effect of macro and micro inequities and how to use available data to inform decision making; to recent changes in the legal and regulatory framework and how a project management approach can help grow Disadvantaged Business Enterprises, this symposium will offer relevant and thought-provoking information on civil rights awareness and enforcement, as well as workplace cohesion.
And since it is a virtual event, you can join as many sessions as you like from wherever you like. The complete schedule of topics is available on DOT's Civil Rights Learning Center, but be sure to sign-up soon—participation in the sessions is limited, and registration closes this Friday, January 31.
We look forward to having you join us as we consider how best to incorporate civil rights into American transportation.