WASHINGTON – The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division held a conference today titled 2009 Title VI Conference: Celebrating the 45th Anniversary of the Legislation and Exploring Current Issues in Enforcement at the FDIC Conference Center in Arlington, Va. Approximately 400 representatives from federal, state and local agencies, community organizations and advocacy groups gathered to share new ideas and discuss trends in Title VI enforcement.
The conference commemorated the 45th anniversary of Title VI and emphasized the federal government’s reinvigorated commitment to enforcement of Title VI’s prohibition against discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin in federally funded programs.
"Title VI is a vital tool in the struggle to end discrimination in our time. The Civil Rights Division and all of the federal agencies that provide federal financial assistance must be vigilant in enforcing its provisions in order to ensure that public funds are not used in programs that engage in discrimination," said Loretta King, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.
As part of the Department’s renewed commitment to civil rights enforcement, the Civil Rights Division issued new guidance to federal funding agencies concerning their Title VI obligations, "Strengthening of Enforcement of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964." The memorandum can be found online at www.usdoj.gov/crt/. In addition, the Civil Rights Division released an updated version of a video that serves as a training tool on the requirements of Title VI.
Conference speakers included Acting Assistant Attorney General King for the Civil Rights Division; Theodore Shaw, professor of the Columbia University School of Law and former director-counsel and president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; Dr. James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute; and Russlynn Ali, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights for the U.S. Department of Education.
Although in recent years, the Civil Rights Division has hosted several conferences focused on Title VI’s requirements concerning access for individuals who are limited English proficient, today’s conference on broader aspects of Title VI was the first of its kind in over 30 years.
To request a translation of this press release in Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese or Korean, please contact: the Coordination and Review Section of the Department’s Civil Rights Division at (202) 307-2222 or (202) 307-2678 (TDD).