The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



Commission Program to Focus on 'Ensuring the Promise of Opportunity'

BIRMINGHAM - Ida L. Castro, Chairwoman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), will be in Birmingham on August 8 - 10 to meet with agency staff and stakeholders and host a major public event commemorating the EEOC's historic 35th anniversary.

The 35th anniversary program is scheduled for the afternoon of Wednesday, August 9, at 2:00 p.m., at the agency's Birmingham District Office, 1130 22nd Street, South, Suite 2000. The program, hosted by Ms. Castro and Birmingham District Director Cynthia G. Pierre, will address past progress and future challenges in eradicating employment discrimination in Alabama and nationwide.

"EEOC continues to ensure America's promise of equal opportunity," said Ms. Castro. "It took the work, courage, and dedication of virtually all segments of our society to widen the doors and broaden the halls of the employment arena to accept, without exception, all who are willing and qualified to work. I look forward to visiting Birmingham, the cradle of the civil rights movement, to celebrate the EEOC's 35th anniversary and talk with our stakeholders about the important issues of race and gender that still confront our country."

The program will consist of roundtable discussions from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. and an open house and reception from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. The roundtables will focus on the progress of promoting equal opportunity at the workplace since EEOC's creation in 1965 and the crucial work that lies ahead in the 21st century. The open house and reception will feature remarks by Chairwoman Castro and The Honorable U.W. Clemon, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, as well as honoring well-known pioneers in the area of civil rights law, advocacy, and enforcement. Hundreds of invited guests are expected to attend and/or participate in the program, including representatives of state and local governments, employer and labor organizations, the federal bench and private bar, civil rights advocates and community groups, college and university faculty, and citizens from across the state.

Remarking on the upcoming program, Ms. Pierre said, "The Commission hopes to effect a deeper understanding of what job discrimination is, to foster a greater appreciation for the ongoing work to dismantle the ever persistent barriers to equal opportunity on the job, and to galvanize the American spirit to accept no exceptions to our nation's declaration and promise of equal employment opportunity for all."

On July 2, 1964, Title VII of the landmark Civil Rights Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson in the East Room of the White House. On this same date one year later, the EEOC, which was created by Title VII, opened its doors to begin carrying out the Congressional mandate to eliminate employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

To commemorate this historic milestone, and to reaffirm EEOC's commitment to the eradication of workplace discrimination, the agency is conducting a series of events throughout the year at the national and local levels. The events are designed to educate the public about the rich heritage of civil rights and to highlight EEOC's role in enforcement and discrimination prevention.

Since EEOC became operational on July 2, 1965, Congress has expanded the agency's enforcement jurisdiction to encompass other civil rights laws. In addition to Title VII, the EEOC enforces the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, which protects individuals 40 years of age or older from workplace discrimination; the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which protects men and women who perform substantially equal work in the same establishment from sex-based wage discrimination; Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which prohibits employment 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 Rights Act of 1991, which provides monetary damages in cases on intentional employment discrimination.

Further information about the Commission is available on the agency's web site at

This page was last modified on August 7, 2000.

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