What is an “Impact Article”?
The Impact category is an easy way to find out how to get involved on an issue. These articles include tips and action steps so that you can easily get involved and help find collaborative solutions for issues in Palm Beach County.
April is Fair Housing Month: Part I
This month it will be 42 years since the Fair Housing Act was passed by Congress, exactly 7 days after the April 4 assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Today, despite strong successive legislation, housing discrimination based on race, gender, national origin, religion, disability, familial status, marital status and sexual orientation stubbornly persists nationally and here in Palm Beach County. For that reason, some call Fair Housing the last frontier of the civil rights movement.
To mark Fair Housing Month, the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County and the Palm Beach County Office of Equal Opportunity are sponsoring a two-day Fair Housing Symposium April 22 to 23 at the West Palm Beach Marriott Hotel. Although the event is free, preregistration is required by April 15. (For futher information or a registration form, please see below.)
The Fair Housing Act was passed at a time of violence and social change. The Kerner Commission of 1968 studied the forces driving the urban riots that erupted with Birmingham in 1963 and exploded through the hot summer of 1967. The commission famously reported that the United States had become “two nations - one White, one Black – separate and unequal.”
The report suggested a link between segregation in housing and schools and urban violence. It also recommended passage of the Federal Fair Housing Act to end segregation.
In 2008, a National Commission on Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity studied the persistence of housing segregation and was highly critical of both the government’s historic role in building segregation and its inability to dismantle it. While the commission found that discrimination is down from 1968, it found that there are four million fair housing violations in the U.S. every year. Of those fewer than 30,000 are filed as complaints with Housing and Urban Development. Only a few handfuls make it to prosecution.
WHAT: Fair Housing Law Symposium
WHEN: Thursday, April 22 and Friday, 23, 2010
WHERE: West Palm Beach Marriott, 1001 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach, FL
WHO: Keynote speakers from:
- John Marshall Law School
- The Florida Supreme Court
- Relman & Dane, LLC,
- Elizabeth Omilami, Executive Director of Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless in Atlanta, Georgia.
Please contact Pam Guerrier at the Office of Equal Opportunity, firstname.lastname@example.org or Latrice Dean of the Legal Aid Society at 561-655-8944 ext. 261 for more information.