1. Home
  2. A Message from EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows for 2023 Martin Luther King Jr. Day

A Message from EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows for 2023 Martin Luther King Jr. Day

On Monday, January 16, we will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day – a national day of service to honor the distinguished life and timeless legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., our country’s most prominent civil rights leader and recipient of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize. While well-respected for his brilliant scholarship and oratorical skills, Dr. King is most notably celebrated for his unwavering commitment to equality and his deep compassion for humanity.

On August 28, 1963, at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Dr. King called for America “to make real the promises of democracy.” A year later, Congress responded by passing the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, which established new protections and ultimately, our agency. As we approach the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington, we recognize that the nation has made significant progress in advancing civil rights, but that a great deal of work remains to fulfill the promise of equality for America’s workers. Today, promoting equal employment opportunity and enforcing the nation’s federal workplace anti-discrimination laws remain critical priorities.

Then and now, our agency has been committed to eliminating discrimination as a barrier to employment and widening the path to economic opportunity. The Commission continues to support the critically important work of expanding equity and social justice by providing advice and assistance to federal agencies as they implement Executive Orders 13985 (Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government) and 14035 (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce). And, in January 2022, the EEOC and the U.S. Department of Labor launched the Hiring Initiative to Reimagine Equity (HIRE) to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) in all aspects of employment, including recruitment, hiring, and retention. Through HIRE, we are striving to eliminate unnecessary obstacles to recruitment and hiring to ensure America’s economy works for everyone. And through the EEOC’s efforts each year, the agency continues to return more in monetary benefits for victims of discrimination than the amount of our annual budget, and far more importantly, helping to make American workplaces fairer and more inclusive.

Dr. King once stated that “life’s most persistent and urgent question is ‘What are you doing for others?’” The EEOC workforce can answer that we are helping build an America where all have a fair chance to find meaningful work, provide for their families, and contribute to our economy.

As we celebrate the holiday honoring Dr. King and prepare to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington, his words and legacy continue to inspire. I look forward to continuing the work to which he dedicated his life – promoting fairness, expanding opportunity, and pursuing justice.


Charlotte A. Burrows (she/her/hers)