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Tennessee Human Rights Commission honors National Fair Housing Month

April is National Fair Housing Month

by PRIDE Newsdesk

Annually the Tennessee Human Rights Commission (THRC) along with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, national fair housing organizations, fair housing advocates and communities across the country celebrate April as Fair Housing Month. Fair Housing month is celebrated in April in honor of the passing of the Fair Housing Act.

On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis. Since 1966, Dr. King advocated for fair housing as part of the Chicago Open Housing Movement. Fighting against lending discrimination, unsafe and unaffordable housing conditions, and segregation via federal ‘redlining’ practices, the movement saw fair housing as a pre-requisite for justice and equality for all. Although fair housing progressed in Chicago, it stalled in Congress.

Finally, in response to the tragedy of Dr. King’s death, President Lyndon Johnson marshaled his resources to speed up the Congressional approval of a national fair housing bill. On April 11, 1968, just seven days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., President Lyndon Johnson signed into law Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, also known as the Fair Housing Act. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibits discrimination in housing. While signing the act, President Johnson stated “Fair Housing for all, all human beings who live in this country, is now part of the American way.”

Under the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and the Tennessee Human Rights Act, it is illegal to discriminate based on one or more protected classes: race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability.

To honor National Fair Housing Month, the Tennessee Human Rights Commission will host the West Tennessee Fair Housing Summit on Monday, April 29, from 8 am 3:30 pm, CDT, at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. In-person registration for the event is $100 and online registration is $50. To register, visit <www.bit.ly/WTFHS24>.

The West Tennessee Fair Housing Summit will be hosted in partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), West Tennessee Legal Services and the National Civil Rights Museum.

The summit will feature several panel discussions on pressing fair housing issues including landlord-tenant rights, fair housing investigations, and fair lending. The summit will also feature opening speaker, Mayor Paul Young of the city of Memphis, and keynote speaker, Roshun Austin, president/CEO of The Works, Inc.

The Tennessee Human Rights Commission is an independent state agency responsible for enforcing the state’s anti-discrimination laws, which prohibit discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodation and coordinates compliance with Title VI of the Civil rights Act of 1964.

For more information on the Tennessee Human Rights Commission, visit <www.tn.gov/humanrights>. To learn more about the West Tennessee Fair Housing Summit, contact <thrc.communications@tn.gov> or call 800-251-3589.

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