Washington DC– Today, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Fair Housing Act, considered the largest civil rights victory in history, and passed seven days after the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King in memory of his life’s work. In commemoration, leaders from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition made the following statements.
“The Fair Housing Act was described by Lyndon B. Johnson as the most far-sighted and comprehensive law in US history when it was passed in 1968, and I believe that remains true today,” said Jesse Van Tol, Chief Executive Officer at NCRC. “But the promise of the Fair Housing Act, to bring people together across race lines and ensure opportunity for all, remains unrealized. Borrowing while black is still a hazard, and too many neighborhoods remain deeply segregated. It’s bittersweet to commemorate this landmark legislation in the same week that Secretary Ben Carson and the Trump administration roll back federal enforcement of fair housing laws. We need more enforcement, not less.”
“Last week marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and as we all know, it was his murder that triggered the passage of the Fair Housing Act just one week later. Yet we sit, still painfully confronting issues of discrimination and persistent racial and gender disparities in access to housing, schools and employment,” said Stella Adams, Chief of Diversity and Inclusion at NCRC. “However, I believe what we are seeing in this country would give Dr. King hope for our future. We are, as he did, organizing and disrupting the system in a way this country has not seen since his passing. We are coming together across racial, gender, and intergenerational lines to say enough is enough. Enough discrimination. Enough racial disparity. Enough economic equality, it’s time for a Just Economy.”
The National Community Reinvestment Coalition is celebrating this milestone in civil rights with over 500 member organizations at our Just Economy Hill Day. This event will include remarks from Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN), and Representative Al Green (D-TX) to lead up to 100 plus meetings with elected officials on Capitol Hill to push for legislation ending discrimination in housing, banking, and business.