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Press Release 08-01-2022

EEOC to Hold Commission Meeting in Buffalo Aug. 22 to Focus on Racial and Economic Justice

Federal Agency Will Examine How to Combat Systemic Racism in First Listening Session to Develop Its Future Strategic Enforcement Plan

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced today that it will hold a listening session in Buffalo, N.Y. on Aug. 22, 2022. The listening session will focus on racial and economic justice and is the first in the agency’s three-part listening series to receive public input  regarding priorities and activities that should be included in its Strategic Enforcement Plan for the next five years.

Titled “Advancing Racial and Economic Justice in the Workplace,” the EEOC’s Buffalo listening session will be the first Commission meeting held outside of Washington, D.C. since 2015. The Commission will hear from witnesses on suggestions for addressing racial and economic justice in the agency’s Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) for fiscal years 2022-2026. The Strategic Enforcement Plan is the document that outlines the EEOC’s strategic priorities and activities to advance equal opportunity in the workplace.

Buffalo is home to one of the EEOC’s most active local offices and the site of Tops Friendly Supermarket, the grocery store in a predominantly Black neighborhood where a racially motivated mass shooting claimed the lives of 10 people on May 14. The listening session will take place more than a month after Tops reopens. By holding the meeting in Buffalo, the EEOC affirms its commitment to combating systemic racism and inequality and stands ready to answer the nation’s continued call for racial and economic justice.

“Wisdom exists in many communities outside of Washington, and Buffalo, like so many American cities, has a history inextricably tied to racial discrimination but also to resilience and civil rights advocacy,” said EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows. “From its status as a key stop on the Underground Railroad to past redlining and segregation that still affect the city today, Buffalo’s experience has much to teach us. Our goal is to determine how the EEOC can best do its part to address systemic discrimination in Buffalo and across the nation, so that all workers have access to equal employment and economic opportunities.”

Every five years the agency issues an SEP to outline enforcement and outreach priorities for the Commission. The agency will hold two additional listening sessions  in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Aug. 30 and Monday, Sept. 12. After the agency completes the listening session series, it will consider the feedback from these sessions and any written input to develop a proposed SEP that will be approved by a vote of the full Commission.

Details on how to attend in person or virtually will be posted on the EEOC’s website in advance of each listening session.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employ­ment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.