Title VI Civil Rights News @ FCS - Winter 2015

Title VI Civil Rights News @ FCS - Winter 2015

Welcome

Dear Colleague,

January holds an annual reminder of the importance of advocacy in furthering civil rights for all. I am, of course, referring to the national holiday commemorating the work and sacrifice of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In our efforts to ensure compliance with civil rights laws, federal agencies rely on and actively seek communication with advocates, community leaders, and other civil rights stakeholders to identify individual allegations of discrimination, as well as systemic problems, to ensure that federal funds are not used in any manner to promote discrimination.  To that end, the Winter 2015 issue of the Title VI Newsletter highlights stakeholder outreach and input as an effective way to advance the goals of Title VI and includes information from several agencies delineating their stakeholder processes.

While agencies have made strides to communicate directly with stakeholders and advocates and have adopted the call for transparency in communications and the investigative process, we all can do more to improve our efforts. Effective outreach is often a strong indicator of whether agencies will receive “on the ground” information of civil rights issues, well before it percolates to national attention. Identifying potential discrimination and systemic disparities requires ongoing communication with advocates, stakeholders, and recipients of federal funds, to inform effective agency decision-making. Some agencies are very well versed in this process and have made it a part of their mission, and we all can benefit from a “refresher” on how to do this effectively. We hope that the article in the Newsletter, “10 Tips for Conducting Effective Community Outreach,” will help accomplish this.

As in our previous issues, we also highlight noteworthy government-wide Title VI developments as part of the Department of Justice’s civil rights coordination responsibilities under Executive Order 12250. Our “frequently asked questions” is a continuing segment and we invite you to send in any Title VI FAQs that need answering. We welcome your comments and suggestions to make the Newsletter more informative. Contact us at FCS.CRT@usdoj.gov.

As we come to the end of the first month of the New Year and commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I am reminded of his clarion call: “Become a dedicated fighter for civil rights. Make it a central part of your life…. Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater Nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.” I hope these words continue to resonate with all of you who work to affirmatively further justice.

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

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