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News from the Washington State Human Rights Commission

Statement Regarding Threats Against Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

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.   

WSHRC provides guidance on closed captioning in places of public accommodation

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

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.  

The law goes into effect July 25, 2021, and businesses need to be in compliance by October 23, 2021.

Supreme Court denies certiorari in case involving transgender student

Wednesday, June 30, 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

Inslee announces eviction moratorium “bridge”

Friday, June 25, 2021

Gov. Jay Inslee announced a “bridge” proclamation today between the eviction moratorium and the housing stability programs put in place by the Legislature (link to press release).

Juneteenth becomes a federal holiday

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

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

Resolution_Standing in Solidarity with Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Resolution of the Washington State Human Rights Commission Stands in Solidarity with
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Washington State and the United States to
Condemn and Challenge Violence, Harassment, and Hate


Inslee statement on Chauvin trial verdict

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Inslee statement on Chauvin trial verdict

April 20, 2021


Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement today regarding the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.

"This was more than the death of one person. It was a trauma for George Floyd’s family, his children, the bystanders and indeed the entire nation. Weary families in so many communities, traumatized from images of brutality against Black and Brown people and feeling no power to stop it, can take heart today that justice was served in this instance. Yet, there is still much work to do. This is one step on a long journey we are just beginning.

"Today is a day for all to recommit themselves to a more perfect union, in their communities and in our nation. Let this be the beginning of progress rather than the end of one trial. Today’s sense of relief for some is fleeting. They know more must be done to prevent this from happening again and again. Too many live with this uncertainty. We must end systemic racism.

"In Washington, we are reforming independent investigations into police use of force; clarifying the requirements for tactics; increasing oversight and accountability for law enforcement officer conduct; and... more

WSHRC stands in solidarity with Asian and Pacific Islander Communities

Monday, March 22, 2021


The Washington State Human Rights Commission stands in solidarity and grieves with the Asian and Pacific Islander communities in Washington and around the country. We condemn the anti-Asian rhetoric, harassment, and violence that has escalated in the last year. If anyone has experienced harassment at work, in housing, or in a place of public accommodation, please contact us to see if we can begin an investigation into the incident. The Human Rights Commission stands against hate in all of its forms and recognizes the difficult and tragic history of Asian Americans in this country. This type of discrimination must come to an end so everyone can live in safety, have peace of mind and reach their full potential.


(CAPAA) Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs: Resources

Inslee statement on rising cases of anti-Asian hate crimes

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Inslee statement on rising cases of anti-Asian hate crimes

March 9, 2021


Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement today in response to increasing and escalating acts of violence targeting Asians and Asian-Americans.

“Washington is a place where all people should feel safe and included. This is a welcoming state and I have a zero-tolerance policy for hate and racism. We must all condemn the acts of hate and violence displayed in the rising incidence of anti-Asian hate crimes in both Washington state and across the country. This is wholly unacceptable and must not stand.

“We saw this ugly trend surge a year ago, when COVID-19 first emerged in our state. One year later, we have a vaccine for the virus – but racism is still running rampant.  

“Victims deserve support and justice. There are systems in place to ensure offenders face consequences for their unconscionable actions. I encourage victims to come forward and report their experience to local law enforcement.

“I stand in solidarity with... more