Title VI Civil Rights News @FCS Spring 2015

Title VI Civil Rights News @FCS Spring 2015


Dear Colleague,

In recognition of Earth Day and Arbor Day, let us take this opportunity to consider how we can use Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to address environmental justice issues.

In 1994, President Clinton signed Executive Order No. 12898, Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations. A Presidential Memorandum accompanied the Executive Order illustrating, in part, the connection between environmental justice and Title VI:

In accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, each Federal agency shall ensure that all programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance that affect human health or the environment do not directly, or through contractual or other arrangements, use criteria, methods, or practices that discriminate on the basis of race, color, or national origin.

With this in mind, we dedicate this Spring 2015 issue of the Title VI Civil Rights News @ FCS to the efforts of federal agencies to advance environmental justice through Title VI enforcement and compliance activities. As the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights once said: “Title VI’s breadth of coverage is extensive and it can address a huge array of injustices: from environmental racism…to disparities in basic health care and basic services, to inequities in transportation, housing, and education.” This speaks to the extensiveness of Title VI and guides our Title VI environmental justice work. 

As with previous issues, we have highlighted noteworthy federal Title VI agreements, settlements, findings, and policy developments, as well as frequently asked questions. We invite you to send your Title VI questions to FCS.CRT@usdoj.gov. We may include your question and our answer in a future issue or respond to your inquiry directly.

Thank you for your interest in Title VI and environmental justice. Former Attorney General Eric Holder declared that “[o]ur environmental laws and protections must extend to all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status.” Let us continue to keep civil rights in mind as we fight for the health of our communities and the environment.

Deeana Jang
Federal Coordination and Compliance Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice

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