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A Message from EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows for 2024 Martin Luther King Jr. Day

On Monday, January 15, 2024, we celebrate and honor the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, who courageously devoted his life to the struggle for racial equality. Dr. King’s work with a broad coalition committed to achieving civil rights sparked a change that helped the nation envision a better, more inclusive future – one of understanding, respect, and community for all people regardless of their race, color, or background.

Last August, we celebrated the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom where Dr. King gave his historic “I Have a Dream Speech.” The March catalyzed the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, which, among many things, prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, and created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

And while 60 years later our nation has made significant progress to end discrimination, we recognize that there are still challenges to achieving Dr. King’s vision.

Addressing inequality in the workplace is a vital step in the broader fight for racial justice and equality. The EEOC remains committed to helping ensure everyone has an equal and fair chance to pursue meaningful work, provide for their families, and actively contribute to our society and economy. For example, the Commission recently issued a new Strategic Enforcement Plan for Fiscal Years 2024-2028, setting forth the agency’s vision of fair and inclusive workplaces with equal opportunity for all and identifying strategic priorities to combat and prevent employment discrimination. This plan focuses the EEOC’s work in key areas, including eliminating barriers to jobs, protecting vulnerable workers and people from underserved communities, fighting systemic harassment, and advancing equal pay for all workers.

The agency also filed and resolved impactful lawsuits; investigated charges alleging discrimination; conducted robust outreach; educated employers and employees on their workplace rights and responsibilities; worked with interagency partners to implement Executive Order 14035 (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce); promoted diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the federal workforce through the Chief Executive Officer Executive Council; and issued a variety of federal sector publications on American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) women, African American women, Hispanic women and Latinas, and on disabilities in the workplace.

In his final speech in Memphis, Dr. King said that “we’ve got to give ourselves to this struggle until the end. Nothing would be more tragic than to stop at this point . . . We’ve got to see it through.”

At the EEOC, we remain steadfast in our commitment to preventing and remedying employment discrimination. Dr. King’s legacy reminds us of the importance of determination and selflessness in the face of adversity. We honor this legacy each day by serving the nation, and we will continue to do that necessary work to advance our vision of fair and inclusive workplaces with equal opportunity for all.


Charlotte A. Burrows (she/her/hers)


U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

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