Commission on Human Relations celebrates 40 Years, Issues Call for Action (Press Release)

Tallahassee – The Florida Commission on Human Relations, Governor Charlie Crist, state and local public officials and community groups gathered today at the Capitol to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Florida Commission on Human Relations.

"My administration remains as committed as ever to ending discrimination and ensuring equality here in Florida," said Governor Crist. "The Commission on Human Relations is vital to these efforts, using education, outreach and partnerships to make Florida a place where people of all backgrounds can enjoy equal opportunities for happiness and success. Now more than ever, we must make equal opportunity for all a top priority so that our businesses can prosper and our communities can thrive."

The Florida Commission on Human Relations strives to eliminate discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations and state employee whistleblower retaliation. During 2007-2008, the Commission received more employment complaints than in each of the past four years and more housing complaints than in each of the past eight years.

“Discrimination is on the rise nationally and in Florida. While we are so proud of the accomplishments of the Commission, we must continue to come together to stop the detrimental discrimination that continues to plague our state,” said Dr. Donna Elam, Chairperson of the Commission. “We look forward to working with Florida’s public officials, businesses and communities to ensure that equal access and fair treatment remain on the forefront.”

The Florida Commission on Human Relations, established in 1969, is the state agency charged with enforcing the Florida Civil Rights Act and Fair Housing Act. The purpose of these laws is to protect the people of Florida from discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status or familial status. Fair treatment, equal access and mutual respect are the benchmarks of the Commission’s commitment. Through education, outreach and partnerships, the Commission works to prevent discrimination and foster mutual understanding in communities statewide.

“The Commission has devoted the past forty years to the people of Florida,” said Derick Daniel, Executive Director of the Commission. “We are excited to celebrate this important anniversary with those who have worked with us in the past, and we look forward to forming new partnerships and creating awareness amongst Floridians.”

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