The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, created in 1957 by the
enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1957, works to uphold the civil and constitutional
rights of all Americans, particularly some of the most vulnerable members of our
society. The Division enforces federal statutes prohibiting discrimination on the
basis of race, color, sex, disability, religion, familial status and national origin.
Since its establishment, the Division has grown dramatically in both size and
scope, and has played a role in many of the nation's pivotal civil rights battles.
Division attorneys prosecuted the defendants accused of murdering three civil
rights workers in Mississippi in 1964, and were involved in the investigations
of the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Medgar Evers. The
Division enforces a wide array of laws that protect the civil rights of all individuals.
The Division is led by Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels. Each
Section of the Division is headed by a Section Chief and several Deputy
Chiefs and Special Legal or Litigation Counsels. The Division's leadership,
Section Chiefs, attorneys, and administrative staff are based in Washington, D.C.
The Division's work is carried out by 11 sections:
The Division's goals are supported by three cross-sectional working groups:
Indian Working Group
LGBT Working Group
National Origin Working Group