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EEOC to Commemorate 45th Anniversary with Birmingham Event

Chair Jacqueline Berrien to Give Keynote Address at Federal Agency’s Anniversary Program

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – On Thursday, Nov. 4, the Birmingham District Office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will hold a public event to commemorate the agency’s 45th anniversary and to discuss the status of its ongoing efforts to eradicate workplace discrimination.  The event will be held at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. with a reception from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

The EEOC is co-sponsoring the program with the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the Alabama Industry Liaison Group and the Labor and Employment Law Section of the Alabama State Bar.  The reception is open to the public. 

The theme of the 45th Anniversary Program, “EEOC at 45: Charting a Path Toward Equal Employment,” focuses on the agency’s progress in promoting equal opportunity in the workplace since the EEOC’s inception, as well as the crucial work that lies ahead. Distinguished guests participating in the program will include EEOC Chair Jacqueline Berrien, EEOC Commissioner Constance Barker, retired federal judge U.W. Clemon, and equal pay champion Lilly Ledbetter.

During the reception, the Birmingham District will honor “champions of equal employment opportunity” -- organizations and advocacy groups that have exhibited a special commitment to work with the EEOC to achieve equal employment opportunity. The “champion” honorees include Lilly Ledbetter; the Alabama Industry Liaison Group; the Birmingham Business Resource Center; the Escambia-Pensacola Human Relations Commission; Esperanza: the Immigrant Women’s Legal Initiative of the Southern Poverty Law Center; the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance; the Alabama and Mississippi state chapters of the NAACP; the SOS Boat People; the Epilepsy Foundation of Alabama; and Women in Construction.

On July 2, 1964, Title VII of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson.  On the 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. The EEOC’s anniversary is especially important for Birmingham because it was one of the agency’s earliest district offices.  

“The EEOC and America have made significant strides toward equal employment opportunity in 45 years,” said EEOC Birmingham District Director Delner Franklin-Thomas. “As exemplified by the people and organizations that we honor as ‘champions’ on this anniversary, we continue – with the courage and dedication of many segments of our society – to broaden the employment arena to accept without exception all who are willing and qualified to work.”

Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at