Diversity Awareness: Celebrate Diversity

    April 2014 Celebrate Diversity

    April, the first full month of spring, marks the beginning of new experiences and new transitions. This month the Edwards Wildman Diversity & Inclusion Committee has chosen to recognize and honor the diversity ¬surrounding us all. By recognizing the collective mixture of individual similarities and differences in people we can get a deeper understanding of each other. We all have a duty to strive to understand each other and move beyond simple tolerance to embrace and celebrate the diversity within each of us. This can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies.
    Edwards Wildman’s diversity and inclusion mission is based on recognizing, appreciating, and valuing the unique talents and contributions of all individuals. Take a moment this month to start a new tradition….meet someone new or talk with someone you already know….learn their story, learn from each other.

    Notable: In the United States, 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark legislation prohibiting employment discrimination enactment and enforcement of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination in employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, religion, and sex. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, had as its intent to end segregation in public places and banned employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin, and is considered one of the crowning legislative achievements of the civil rights movement. First proposed by President John F. Kennedy, it survived strong opposition from southern members of Congress and was then signed into law by Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon B. Johnson.

    Under the Civil Rights Act, segregation on the grounds of race, religion or national origin was banned at all places of public accommodation, including courthouses, parks, restaurants, theaters, sports arenas and hotels. No longer could blacks and other minorities be denied service simply based on the color of their skin. The act also barred race, religious, national origin and gender discrimination by employers and labor unions, and created an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission with the power to file lawsuits on behalf of aggrieved workers.
    By its enactment, notions of equality were more deeply embedded in United States public law. Expansion of the Civil Rights Act included bring disabled Americans, the elderly and women in collegiate athletics under its umbrella. For famed civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., it was nothing less than a “second emancipation.” It also paved the way for two major follow-up laws: the Fair Housing Act of 1968, which banned discrimination in the sale, rental and financing of property, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prohibited literacy tests and other discriminatory voting practices. However, the Supreme Court of the United States later struck down the key provisions of the Voting Rights Act in 2012 in Shelby County v Holder.


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