The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE              CONTACT:   Claire Gonzales
April 17, 1996                                Reginald Welch
                                              (202) 663-4900
                                              TDD:   (202) 663-4494



WASHINGTON -- On Sunday morning, April 21, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Chairman Gilbert F. Casellas will discuss the future of race relations at a national conference at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The thre e-day event will examine the broad impact on American society 100 years after the "separate but equal" doctrine established by the Supreme Court's landmark Plessy v. Ferguson ruling.

The conference, which runs from April 19 - 21, is being sponsored by Harvard's W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research, the country's oldest research center in African American studies. Participants will include government officials, membe rs of Congress, noted academics, and representatives of leading civil rights groups.

Chairman Casellas will participate in a panel entitled "Race and the 21st Century," on April 21 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon in Harvard University's Sanders Theater. In addition to Chairman Casellas, the panel will feature Cornel West of Harvard Uni versity, Lani Guinier of the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Chairman Mary Frances Berry, and Felton Earls of Harvard Medical School. The two-hour session, moderated by W.E.B Du Bois Institute Director Henry Loui s Gates, Jr., will include opening statements by the panelists followed by a questions and answers session with audience participation.

Other conference panels will analyze the significance and consequences of the Plessy ruling on race relations, government and politics, the judicial system, education, housing, employment, and other societal institutions and issues.

Gilbert F. Casellas was nominated by President Clinton on July 1, 1994, and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on September 29, 1994, to serve as EEOC Chairman. Prior to his appointment at EEOC, Mr. Casellas served as General Counsel of the U.S. Department of the Air Force, was a partner in the Philadelphia law firm of Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads, and taught at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law.

Since arriving at the EEOC, Chairman Casellas has led an unprecedented reform effort to reinvent and streamline EEOC operations for processing charges of employment discrimination. The initiative, which has already begun to reduce the huge pending inv entory of private sector charges, has included the introduction of Priority Charge Handling Procedures, a National Enforcement Plan, and alternative dispute resolution techniques into the agency's private sector charge process.

On October 27, 1995, Chairman Casellas was presented with the Clarence Farmer Service Award by the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations for his outstanding work in eliminating barriers to equal opportunity and opening doors to minorities in the l egal profession. In recognition of the agency's nationwide labor management partnership led by Chairman Casellas, EEOC was presented with the Hammer Award from Vice President Gore's National Performance Review on March 14, 1996.

EEOC enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act; the Equal Pay Act; the Americans with Disabilities Act , which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in the private sector and state and local governments; prohibitions against discrimination affecting individuals with disabilities in the federal government; and sections of the Civil Right s Act of 1991.

This page was last modified on January 15, 1997.

Return to Home Page