News from the Washington State Human Rights Commission
April is Fair Housing Month 2023April is Fair Housing Month because, on April 11, 1968, President Johnson signed the Fair Housing Act of 1968 after months of ideological gridlock. The legislative breakthrough came only when, on April 4th of that year, the Act's champion, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was murdered in Memphis.
The mission of the WSHRC is to eliminate and prevent discrimination in the Washington State through the fair application of the law, efficient use of resources, and establishment of productive partnerships in the community.
Washington State Human Rights Commission (WSHRC) partners with the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) to eliminate housing discrimination, promote economic opportunity, and achieve diverse, inclusive communities by leading the nation in the enforcement, administration, development, and public understanding of federal fair housing policies and laws.
WSHRC and HUD FHEO’s partnership activities include investigating fair housing complaints and managing fair housing grants.
There are also fair housing organizations and other non-profits that receive funding from HUD through the Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) and partner with WSHRC. FHIPs assist people who believe they have been victims of... more
The Human Rights Commission is left reeling after hearing the devastating account of more than seventeen dead, and numerous injured, from recent mass shootings within the communities of Monterey Park in Southern California and Half Moon Bay, an agriculture area near San Francisco. We stand with the families and friends as we remember those you loved so deeply.
Summer update from Wenatchee for Immigrant Justice (WIJ):
"As the heat and summer harvest season is upon us, WIJ has been hard at work behind the scenes. We are so grateful for your continued support, and we want to share this update about our ongoing work in the community and some exciting changes for WIJ this fall.
A medida que el calor y la temporada de cosecha de verano están sobre nosotros, WIJ ha estado trabajando duro detrás de escena. Estamos muy agradecidos por su continuo apoyo, y queremos compartir una actualización sobre nuestro trabajo continuo en la comunidad y algunos cambios emocionantes para WIJ en el otoño."
The Human Rights Commission is appalled and saddened by the threats of violence made against several Historically Black Colleges and Universities. We condemn the threats and the implicit message behind the threats. Racism and threats of violence have no place on college campuses or anywhere. Education is vitally important to individuals, families, and communities, and students must be able to engage in their educational pursuits without fear. We hope that the perpetrators are found and held responsible for their actions, and that life can soon return to normal on these campuses.
Pursuant to SB 5027, Televised closed captioning – places of public accommodation, which was signed into law by Governor Inslee in 2021, the WSHRC has created a guidance paper, with a question and answer format, for businesses to learn about the new requirements for closed captioning. There is also a PowerPoint training for businesses to utilize when training employees.
- Closed Captioning Guidance
- Closed Captioning in Places of Public Accommodation - PowerPoint
- Closed Captioning in Places of Public Accommodation - PDF
The law goes into effect July 25, 2021, and businesses need to be in compliance by October 23, 2021.
The Washington State Human Rights Commission was pleased to hear of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to deny certiorari in a case involving a student’s right to use the restroom facilities that correspond to their gender identity. On Monday, June 28, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari in Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board, ending the case addressing a school district policy prohibiting transgender students from using the restroom that corresponds to their identified gender. This denial leaves in place the lower court’s ruling that the school board illegally discriminated against Grimm, who is transgender, when it denied him the right to use the boy’s bathroom and instead required him to use separate facilities. This provides further support to the ideal that transgender students should be able to obtain an education free from discrimination and harassment. This has long been a settled principle in Washington under the Washington Law Against Discrimination, which protects transgender individuals from discrimination. If you or your child have been... more
The Human Rights Commission is pleased that the U.S. Congress passed and President Biden signed a bill establishing Juneteenth, the date commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, as a federal holiday. “Great nations don’t ignore their most painful moments. They embrace them,” stated the President at the bill signing event.
Juneteenth National Independence Day will become the 12th legal federal public holiday. Juneteenth is on June 19 and celebrates the emancipation of the last enslaved African Americans. On that day in 1865, Union soldiers led by Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in the coastal city of Galveston, Texas, to deliver the order officially ending slavery in the state.
The Human Rights Commission hopes that Washington businesses will take this opportunity to engage their employees... more