PHOTO RELEASE: Governor Ron DeSantis Attends Central Florida Urban League’s Black History Month Breakfast

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For Immediate Release
February 22, 2019

Contact: Governor’s Press Office
(850) 717-9282
Media@eog.myflorida.com

 PHOTO RELEASE: Governor Ron DeSantis Attends Central Florida Urban League’s Black History Month Breakfast

 

Orlando, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis visited the Central Florida Urban League to speak at the organization’s Black History Month Breakfast. The event was held at the Orlando Citrus Club and included various state and local elected officials.  

“I’m proud to be here with so many community leaders to celebrate Black History Month,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Throughout our history, African American leaders have accomplished truly great things and made some of the greatest contributions to our nation, often in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Organizations like the Central Florida Urban League have been instrumental in helping to empower individuals throughout our communities to reach new heights and leave behind a legacy of achievement.”

 

Photo Credit: Governor Ron DeSantis Press Office

 

For more on the 2019 Florida Black History Month Celebration, visit: www.floridablackhistory.com/


Photo Release: Central Florida Urban League’s Black History Month Breakfast

 
 

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EEOC RELEASES PRELIMINARY FY 2018 SEXUAL HARASSMENT DATA

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Washington, D.C. Headquarters

EEOC RELEASES PRELIMINARY FY 2018 SEXUAL HARASSMENT DATA

For immediate release
Contact: 202-663-4191 or newsroom@eeoc.gov

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced preliminary FY 2018 sexual harassment data today - highlighting its significant work this past fiscal year to address the pervasive problem of workplace harassment.

What You Should Know: EEOC Leads the Way in Preventing Workplace Harassment recognizes key milestones of the agency to actively enforce the law, to educate and train workers and employers, and to share its expertise on new solutions to reduce harassing conduct in the workplace. Combating all forms of workplace harassment – whether based on sex, race, color, disability, age, national origin, or religion -- remains a top priority of the EEOC.

“I am so proud of the EEOC staff who stepped up to the heightened demand of the #MeToo movement to make clear that workplace harassment is not only unlawful, it is simply not acceptable,” said Acting Chair Victoria A. Lipnic. “As the agency with expertise, as the enforcer of the law, and as an educator, the EEOC has continued to lead the way to achieve the goal of reducing the level of harassment and to promote harassment-free workplaces.”

Based on preliminary data, in FY 2018:

• The EEOC filed 66 harassment lawsuits, including 41 that included allegations of sexual harassment. That reflects more than a 50 percent increase in suits challenging sexual harassment over fiscal year 2017.

• In addition, charges filed with the EEOC alleging sexual harassment increased by more than 12 percent from fiscal year 2017.

• Overall, the EEOC recovered nearly $70 million for the victims of sexual harassment through litigation and administrative enforcement in FY 2018, up from $47.5 million in FY 2017.

The EEOC’s innovative training program, “Respectful Workplaces,” which teaches skills for employees and supervisors to promote and contribute to respect in the workplace, was in high demand since it was launched in October 2017. Over 9,000 employees and supervisors in the private, public and federal sector work forces participated in Respectful Workplaces training this past fiscal year. An additional 13,000 employees participated in EEOC’s anti-harassment compliance training.

“We have been traveling the country, spreading the word about what the EEOC is doing and the resources we have to offer,” said Commissioner Chai R. Feldblum, Co-Chair of the Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace. “We are at a transformative moment in our history and the EEOC will be part of making that history.” Moving forward, the EEOC recognizes that more can and should be done. Acting Chair Lipnic noted further, “the EEOC will continue to be there, striving to make our workplaces productive places where we can all go, do our jobs, and be free from harassment."

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.

First Lady Casey DeSantis Announces Mary Ann Carroll as Florida’s Featured Artist in Celebration of Black History Month

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For Immediate Release
February 6, 2019

Contact: Governor’s Press Office
(850) 717-9282
Media@eog.myflorida.com

First Lady Casey DeSantis Announces Mary Ann Carroll as Florida’s Featured Artist in Celebration of Black History Month

Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, First Lady Casey DeSantis announced Mary Ann Carroll as Florida’s Featured Artist in celebration of Black History Month. Mary Ann’s work will be displayed in the Governor’s Mansion for visitors to enjoy.  

“I am proud to announce Mary Ann Carroll, the only original female member of the Highwaymen, as our Featured Artist in celebration of Black History Month,” said First Lady Casey DeSantis. “Mary Ann is a self-taught artist who overcame tremendous challenges throughout her career. Today, her priceless work is showcased in collections throughout the country and her extraordinary talent has been widely recognized with her induction into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame. Ron and I look forward to meeting members of the Carroll family and displaying her work in the Governor’s Mansion in celebration of Black History Month. As Mary Ann continues to recover from a recent illness, we will continue to keep her in our prayers.”

 

About Mary Ann Carroll

Mary Ann Carroll was born in 1940 in Georgia and grew up in Ft. Pierce, Florida. She was inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 2004 as the only female member of The Highwaymen, a group of self-taught artists that made a living painting colorful Florida landscapes during the Jim Crow period. 

With no galleries to display the work of black artists during this time, the Highwaymen sold their paintings from the trunks of their cars or went door-to-door, selling their work to hotels, doctors’ offices and banks. Art was always Mary Ann’s main source of income, but when business was slow, she worked odd jobs to make ends meet. Life was sometimes a struggle, but she persevered and singlehandedly raised seven children. Whereas her fellow painters could travel far from home to sell their paintings, she had to be back in Ft. Pierce each afternoon to pick her children up from school, prepare dinner and oversee homework. All the while she honed her artistic skills and sold paintings when and where she could.  

Paintings by the Highwaymen are still affectionately called “Hotel Art.” Many famous and successful people purchased the art for $10 to $25 with little interest in the work. Years later, a buzz grew about the work of these ambitious black artists. As their popularity increased, a new interest and “art rush” came to many who had tucked the paintings away. As the paintings surfaced from attics, garages and estate sales, these paintings that once sold for $25 were now suddenly worth thousands.  

Mary Ann Carroll has been featured in several documentaries and on National Public Radio (NPR). Over the years she has supported many fine charities and she continues to be a generous philanthropist. Her work is proudly displayed in collections in the United States and internationally.  

Mary Ann recently semi-retired to rehabilitate her painting arm after a medical setback. Her wish is to see all children follow their dreams, even if those dreams don't include painting.

 

For more information on Florida’s celebration of Black History Month visit: http://www.floridablackhistory.com

 

First Lady Casey DeSantis Announces 2019 Black History Month Theme and Student Contests.

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For Immediate Release
January 31, 2019 Contact: Governor’s Press Office
(850) 717-9282
Media@eog.myflorida.com

First Lady Casey DeSantis Announces 2019 Black History Month Theme and Student Contests

Student essay contest winners will receive a 4-Year Florida College Plan scholarship provided by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation

Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, First Lady Casey DeSantis announced the theme and student contests for 2019 Black History Month. This year’s theme will be “Celebrating Public Service” to recognize and pay tribute to African-American leaders who play prominent roles in public service throughout Florida.

“Ron and I could not be more excited to join our state’s incredible students, parents, teachers and educators during Black History Month to celebrate and champion the public service of so many influential Floridians,” said First Lady Casey DeSantis. “Our state is blessed to have several inspirational and talented leaders who serve our communities every day. I look forward to highlighting the contributions of those individuals during Black History Month.”

First Lady DeSantis invited students to participate in academic and creative contests based on this year’s theme. Students in grades K-3 are invited to participate in an art contest while students in grades 4-12 are invited to participate in an essay contest. Additionally, students, parents, teachers and principals are invited to nominate full-time educators of all student grades for the Black History Month Excellence in Education Award.

About the Student Art Contest
First Lady Casey DeSantis’ Black History Month Art Contest is open to all K-3 students in Florida. Each student will submit original, two-dimensional artwork based on this year’s theme. Two winners will be selected.

About the Student Essay Contest
First Lady Casey DeSantis’ Black History Month Essay Contest is open to all 4-12 students in Florida. Each student will submit one essay no longer than 500 words based on this year’s theme. Three winners will be selected: one elementary school student (grades 4-5), one middle school student (grades 6-8) and one high school student (grades 9-12). Each winner will receive a 4-Year Florida College Plan scholarship provided by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation.

About the Excellence in Education Award
First Lady Casey DeSantis’ Black History Month Excellence in Education Award Contest is open to all full-time educators in an elementary, middle, or high school in Florida. Three winners will be selected: one elementary school teacher (grades K-5), one middle school teacher (grades 6-8) and one high school teacher (grades 9-12). Nominations may be submitted by a principal, teacher, parent/guardian or student.

Contest Entries and Nominating Forms and Guidelines
Student contest forms and educator nomination forms must be mailed to Volunteer Florida or submitted online at www.FloridaBlackHistory.com

Volunteer Florida
Black History Month Committee
3800 Esplanade Way, Suite 180
Tallahassee, Florida 32311

All entries must be received by 5:00 p.m. EST on Monday, March 4, 2019.

For more information about the contests and to watch First Lady Casey DeSantis’ welcome message for Black History Month, please visit www.FloridaBlackHistory.com

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Ocala News - Letters to the Editor

King’s legacy lives on

On Jan. 21, Floridians will once again observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, honoring the man who advanced and steered a civil rights movement that pushed America toward equality and justice for all persons. Dr. King and his followers stood in strong opposition to racial discrimination, as well as the wrongful and unequal treatment of people who differed in national origin and religious beliefs.

Florida is no stranger to racial inequities. Yet, the Sunshine State has made incredible strides toward ending racial injustices and discrimination since the days when Dr. King was leading the civil rights movement.

Despite advances, prejudice and inequality still exist in many forms. Workplace, housing and public accommodations discrimination still exist in our contemporary landscape, leaving some to seek remedy.

Since 1969, the Florida Commission on Human Relations has sought to address these issues by helping to eliminate discrimination and ensuring the fair treatment of all persons. The leadership and staff of the Commission work diligently to ensure that unfair treatment based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, pregnancy, national origin, age, marital status and familial status in housing will never be tolerated in this state.

So, as we reflect upon Dr. King and the day we celebrate his memory, let it be a time for all Floridians to echo the bravery shown by not only Dr. King, but all those who stood up for equality in the face of injustice. Their courage promoted the advancement of tolerance evident in today’s society. It is our duty and honor, as Americans and as Floridians, to continue his legacy of protecting the civil rights of all people.

Michelle Wilson, Executive Director, Florida Commission on Human Relations, Tallahassee

2019 Florida Women's Hall of Fame Nominations due February 1, 2019

2019 Florida Women's Hall of Fame

The Florida Women's Hall of Fame commemorates women's history by honoring and remembering those women whose lives and contributions have improved the quality of life for both Florida and the nation.

Nominations due February 1, 2019

 
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Since 1982 and held each year, the Florida Women's Hall of Fame commemorates women's history by honoring and remembering those women whose lives and contributions have improved the quality of life for both Florida and the nation. With this in mind, we ask that you take time to nominate a deserving woman who has made a difference in the lives of those they serve.

Florida Women's Hall of Fame | 850.414.3531 | flwomenshalloffame.org

Governor Ron DeSantis Issues Two Executive Orders

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For Immediate Release

January 8, 2019 Contact: Dave Vasquez

(727) 504-4676
DeSantisPress@desantistransition.com
Governor Ron DeSantis Issues Two Executive Orders

Tallahassee, Fla – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis issued two executive orders regarding commitment to diversity in government, ethics, open government and preventing sexual harassment in the workplace.

Executive Order 1910 reaffirms the policy of non-discrimination in government employment established in Executive Order 99-281 and Executive Order 11-04. It is the policy of the DeSantis Administration to prohibit discrimination in employment based on age, sex, race, color, religion, national origin, marital status, or disability and to ensure equal opportunity for all individuals currently employed and/or seeking employment in the DeSantis Administration. Executive Order 1910 also reaffirms the policy of non-discrimination in government contracting established in Executive Order 99-281 and Executive Order 11-04. To see Executive Order 19-10, click HERE.

Executive Order 19-11 directs the immediate adoption and implementation of a revised Code of Ethics applicable to the Executive Office of the Governor, as well as all agency heads, deputy agency heads and chiefs of staff at executive branch agencies serving at the pleasure of the Governor. The Executive Order re-establishes the Governor’s Office of Open Government previously established by Executive Orders 07-01 and Executive Order 11-03 and affirms the DeSantis’ Administration commitment to Florida’s Sunshine and Public Records Laws. Executive Order 19-11 also re-adopts Executive Order 17-319 Preventing Sexual Harassment in State Agencies. It directs all state agencies headed by an official serving at the pleasure of the Governor to review its policies and procedures regarding sexual harassment and misconduct. To see Executive Order 19-11, click HERE.

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The Florida Commission on the Status of Women Announces 2018 Florida Women’s Hall of Fame Inductees

Tallahassee, FL (June 14, 2018) — Governor Rick Scott has selected Adela Gonzmart, formerly of Ybor City, Janet Petro, of Indian Harbour Beach, and Lee Bird Leavengood, of Tampa for induction into the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame. Governor Scott chose these three individuals from a group of ten nominees recommended by the Florida Commission on the Status of Women, for their significant contributions to the improvement of life for women and all Florida citizens. They are pioneers who have broken down barriers, created new opportunities, and championed issues to better Florida and its people.

“The Florida Commission on the Status of Women, in the true spirit of celebration, is proud to honor these outstanding women who have had such a meaningful impact on our state and its history,” said Commission Chair Lady Dhyana Ziegler, Ph.D., DCJ. “This year marks the thirty-sixth year of the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame and the Commission is proud to ensure that the stories of Florida women will be shared for future generations.”

This year’s inductees will be honored at a ceremony on September 26, 2018, in Orlando, Florida, in conjunction with the Florida Chamber Foundation's 2018 Future of Florida Forum. In addition, they will be immortalized on an honorary wall in the halls of the Florida Capitol.

EEOC ACTING CHAIR LIPNIC RELEASES REPORT ON THE STATE OF OLDER WORKERS AND AGE DISCRIMINATION 50 YEARS AFTER THE ADEA

CONTACT:
202-663-4191
newsroom@eeoc.gov                                                                                                                              

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 26, 2018

WASHINGTON – Victoria A. Lipnic, Acting Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), issued a report today on the State of Older Workers and Age Discrimination 50 Years After the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The ADEA was signed into law in December 1967 and took effect 50 years ago this month, in June 1968. The ADEA was an important part of 1960s civil rights legislation that was intended to ensure equal opportunity for older workers.

The report finds that age discrimination remains too common and too accepted as outdated assumptions about older workers and ability persist, even though today’s experienced workers are more diverse, better educated and working longer than previous generations.

“As we’ve studied the current state of age discrimination this past year in commemorating the ADEA, we’ve seen many similarities between age discrimination and harassment,” explained Acting EEOC Chair Victoria A. Lipnic. “Like harassment, everyone knows it happens every day to workers in all kinds of jobs, but few speak up. It’s an open secret.”

The report recognizes the similarities between age discrimination and other discrimination. Only about 3 percent of those who have experienced age discrimination complained to their employer or a government agency, according to recent research. Studies find that more than three-fourths of older workers surveyed report their age is an obstacle in getting a job. Even with a booming economy and low unemployment, older workers still report they have difficulties getting hired.

Lipnic’s report provides a wealth of information and resources. It includes recommendations from experts on strategies to prevent age discrimination, such as including age in diversity and inclusion programs and having age-diverse hiring panels. Research shows that age diversity can improve organi­za­tional performance and lower employee turnover. Studies also find that mixed-age work teams result in higher productivity for both older and younger workers.

“I hope the report also serves to put to rest outdated assumptions about experienced workers," Acting Chair Lipnic commented. “As I’ve said many times, they have talent that our economy cannot afford to waste.”

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.

Three inducted into Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame

June 8, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — Thursday evening on the campus of Florida State University, three people received quite the honor.

Dr. Marvin Davies, John Dorsey Due and Dr. Reverend Willie Oliver Wells were inducted into the Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame.
Community leaders say these three individuals made sacrifices to ensure that every Floridian had the right to vote and live where they want.

“If we don’t remember our history, we’re doomed to repeat it. Knowing about these individuals and the sacrifices that they made, to make life better not only for African Americans, but for all Floridians. It’s important that we remember that,” said Curtis Richardson a Tallahassee City Commissioner.

The event hosted by the Florida Commission of Human Relations is in its 7th year. This year’s three inductees join 18 others that have been inducted into the Hall of Fame since its inception.

Full Article and video at WCTV.TV site:

http://www.wctv.tv/content/news/Three-Floridians-enter-Civil-Rights-Hall-of-Fame-484924941.html

The Florida Channel: 6/7/18 Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

The Florida Commission on Human Relations honors Floridians who have made significant contributions to the state for equality and justice. Dr. Marvin Davies, John Dorsey Due, and Dr. Rev. Willie Oliver Wells were officially inducted into the Florida Civil Rights Hall of Fame for 2018.

Full Article at The Florida Channel:

https://thefloridachannel.org/videos/6-7-18-florida-civil-rights-hall-of-fame-induction-ceremony/

FCHR Encourages Everyone to Celebrate National Minority Health Month

April is National Minority Health Month, a time to learn more about the health status of racial and ethnic minority populations in the U.S. The theme for 2018 is Partnering for Health Equity which highlights partnerships at the federal, state, local, tribal and territorial levels that help reduce disparities in health and health care. This year, the Office of Minority Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will celebrate impactful public and private sector collaborations that advance health equity and help improve the health of the nation.

For more information, please visit: https://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/nmhm18/.

Celebrating Minority Health Month

President Lyndon B. Johnson's Remarks Upon Signing the Civil Rights Act.

LBJ Signs Fair Housing Act

Members of the Congress, Members of the Cabinet, distinguished Americans, and guests:

On an April afternoon in the year 1966, I asked a distinguished group of citizens who were interested in human rights to meet me in the Cabinet Room in the White House. In their presence that afternoon, I signed a message to the Congress. That message called for the enactment of "the first effective federal law against discrimination in the sale and the rental of housing" in the United States of America.

Few in the Nation--and the record will show that very few in that room that afternoon--believed that fair housing would--in our time--become the unchallenged law of this land.

And indeed, this bill has had a long and stormy trip.
We did not get it in 1966.

We pleaded for it again in 1967. But the Congress took no action that year.
We asked for it again this year.
And now--at long last this afternoon--its day has come.

I do not exaggerate when I say that the proudest moments of my Presidency have been times such as this when I have signed into law the promises of a century.

I shall never forget that it was more than 100 years ago when Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation--but it was a proclamation; it was not a fact.

In the Civil Rights Act of 1964, we affirmed through law that men equal under God are also equal when they seek a job, when they go to get a meal in a restaurant, or when they seek lodging for the night in any State in the Union.

Now the Negro families no longer suffer the humiliation of being turned away because of their race.

In the Civil Rights Act of 1965, we affirmed through law for every citizen in this land the most basic right of democracy--the right of a citizen to vote in an election in his country. In the five States where the Act had its greater impact, Negro voter registration has already more than doubled.

Now, with this bill, the voice of justice speaks again.

It proclaims that fair housing for all--all human beings who live in this country--is now a part of the American way of life.

We all know that the roots of injustice run deep. But violence cannot redress a solitary wrong, or remedy a single unfairness.

Of course, all America is outraged at the assassination of an outstanding Negro leader who was at that meeting that afternoon in the White House in 1966. And America is also outraged at the looting and the burning that defiles our democracy.

We just must put our shoulders together and put a stop to both. The time is here. Action must be now.

So, I would appeal to my fellow Americans by saying, the only real road to progress for free people is through the process of law and that is the road that America will travel.

I urge the Congress to enact the measures for social justice that I have recommended in some twenty messages. These messages went to the Congress in January and February of this year. They broke a precedent by being completed and delivered and read and printed. These measures provide more than $78 billion that I have urged the Congress to enact for major domestic programs for all Americans in the fiscal 1969 budget.

This afternoon, as we gather here in this historic room in the White House, I think we can all take some heart that democracy's work is being done. In the Civil Rights Act of 1968 America does move forward and the bell of freedom rings out a little louder.

We have come some of the way, not near all of it. There is much yet to do. If the Congress sees fit to act upon these twenty messages and some fifteen appropriations bills, I assure you that what remains to be done will be recommended in ample time for you to do it after you have completed what is already before you.
Thank you very much.

Commentary: Fair housing marks 50 years but it's still elusive for some

On April 11, 1968, President Lyndon Johnson signed the federal Fair Housing Act, which prohibited discrimination concerning the sale, rental and financing of housing based on race, religion, national origin, sex, handicap and family status. This important law also made it unlawful for a housing provider to make, print or publish any statement or advertisement providing for a preference based on these classes.

This year, we Floridians join all Americans in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the federal Fair Housing Act. We are encouraged to learn more about our rights and responsibilities under the act as a part of National Fair Housing Month. For the past 50 years, Americans across this great land are reminded that all citizens are entitled to the same fair housing rights when seeking to rent, own, buy or insure a home, and they are free to take action if they suspect discrimination.

Unfortunately, 50 years of fair housing laws have sometimes failed to deliver justly. For many people of color, fair housing today remains just as elusive as it was in 1968.

• The homeownership gap between blacks and whites is now wider than it was during the Jim Crow era. Another independent research report by the Economic Policy Institute found that the difference in black homeownership between 1968 and 2018 is virtually the same — 41.1 percent (1968) compared to 41.2 percent (2018).  • In 61 metro areas across the country, blacks were 2.7 times more likely than whites to be denied a conventional mortgage loan.  • As the number of nonbank mortgage lenders rises, these businesses are not required to adhere to the Community Reinvestment Act that requires lending to low-income borrowers and in blighted areas.  The Florida Commission on Human Relations is the state agency charged with investigating cases of housing discrimination. Last year, the FCHR investigated more than 200 cases where housing discrimination was alleged. The top five bases of discrimination were, in order of most to least: disability, race, national origin, familial status and sex.  Even with the passage of the federal act and the Florida Fair Housing Act in 1983, discrimination in housing persists. As executive director of the commission, I often have the opportunity to inform people that they have the power to fight housing discrimination. If they feel they have been discriminated against, they should either contact the FCHR, a fair housing center in their local area or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as the first step in the process. Remember, “Fair Housing Equals Opportunity.”  While unlawful discrimination continues to keep many individuals and families from obtaining the housing of their choice, the passage half a century ago of the Fair Housing Act took a giant step forward in addressing this issue.   Michelle Wilson is executive director of the Florida Commission on Human Relations. If you feel you are a victim of housing discrimination, call the FCHR at 850-488-7082 or visit  fchr.state.fl.us .

• The homeownership gap between blacks and whites is now wider than it was during the Jim Crow era. Another independent research report by the Economic Policy Institute found that the difference in black homeownership between 1968 and 2018 is virtually the same — 41.1 percent (1968) compared to 41.2 percent (2018).

• In 61 metro areas across the country, blacks were 2.7 times more likely than whites to be denied a conventional mortgage loan.

• As the number of nonbank mortgage lenders rises, these businesses are not required to adhere to the Community Reinvestment Act that requires lending to low-income borrowers and in blighted areas.

The Florida Commission on Human Relations is the state agency charged with investigating cases of housing discrimination. Last year, the FCHR investigated more than 200 cases where housing discrimination was alleged. The top five bases of discrimination were, in order of most to least: disability, race, national origin, familial status and sex.

Even with the passage of the federal act and the Florida Fair Housing Act in 1983, discrimination in housing persists. As executive director of the commission, I often have the opportunity to inform people that they have the power to fight housing discrimination. If they feel they have been discriminated against, they should either contact the FCHR, a fair housing center in their local area or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as the first step in the process. Remember, “Fair Housing Equals Opportunity.”

While unlawful discrimination continues to keep many individuals and families from obtaining the housing of their choice, the passage half a century ago of the Fair Housing Act took a giant step forward in addressing this issue.

Michelle Wilson is executive director of the Florida Commission on Human Relations. If you feel you are a victim of housing discrimination, call the FCHR at 850-488-7082 or visit fchr.state.fl.us.

 

A year-long analysis of 31 million records by the Center for Investigative Reporting found that: