DC Office of Human Rights Newsletter | Volume XX | January 2020
Looking Toward the Future:
A New Decade of Civil and Human Rights
Photo courtesy of Amnesty International
Just a few days ago, most of the world celebrated the close of a decade. It was in many ways a triumphant decade for civil and human rights protections. You can revisit a few highlights from our newsletter last month. Even with all of the strides that were made, more can be done to protect our most vulnerable populations. Just as we stepped into this new decade for example, the Fair Chance to Compete for Jobs Act of 2019 was signed into law, effectively bringing "Ban-the-Box" practices to the Federal Government and its contractors. Since 2014, DC has protected our returning citizens against discrimination from both public and private employers that operate within the city. We later expanded those protections to housing in 2017.

Even though DC has an abundance of protections that we offer residents and visitors, we must remember that there are several jurisdictions where protections remain insufficient. So, we must be their voices and their advocates. We also must think about and anticipate the next set of hurdles our most vulnerable communities may face in this coming decade so we can meet them head on with innovative solutions.

As we observe and celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this month, here is one of the many powerful quotes by him to help affirm the work that you do on behalf of those seeking justice and opportunity.

“The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.”
Trait of the Month: Status as a Victim of Intrafamily Violence
Did you know that it is illegal for housing providers to discriminate on you based on your status as a victim of intrafamily violence? This is defined as a person who was subjected to domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. For more information or to file a complaint, visit our website;  ohr.dc.gov .
Upcoming Events
Join the Office of Human Rights and Mayor Muriel Bowser for the 39th Annual MLK Peace Walk and Parade on Monday, January 20th beginning at 11am at the Anacostia Park entrance in Southeast. Once you have finished the walk, be sure to stop in and visit our table at the Health & Community Fair at the Gateway Pavillion (2730 MLK Jr. Ave SE).

Help ring in the 4,718th Chinese Lunar New Year (Year of the Rat) on Sunday, January 26th at 6th and I St NW at 2pm . The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association is hosting this community-based parade that will include traditional lion and dragon dances, Kung Fu demonstrations, firecrackers, live music and marching bands, beauty pageant winners, VIPs and other community talents!

Director's Note
Dear Stakeholders, Partners and DC Residents, 
And just like that, we start a new decade.
This month, we celebrate the heroic leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, a pioneering, an advocate and champion of human and civil rights. His vision, his dream and his ideals represent some of the best this country has to offer. Over the next decade and beyond, his ability to speak truth to power and endure hardships, violence and threats will continue to inspire.
I will personally draw inspiration to help guide me to set higher goals in 2020. Because even when the civil rights bill was passed in 1964, Dr. King did not rest. He continued to fight for marginalized groups and advocate for equal treatment and opportunities. Likewise, we must not rest. Even though DC is a model city for human rights protections, we can and must do more to ensure that all residents and guests in our city feel safeguarded against discrimination. From our survey on street harassment to our work with landlords, employers and schools and across all sectors of the District, Dr. King's legacy lives on through OHR.
I hope the holidays and New Year have renewed your spirits and energy. I am excited for this new year and what this new decade holds, especially knowing our community and agency partners, stakeholders and dedicated staff area ready to take on any challenges that may arise. 
From myself and all of us at OHR, I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year!   
Yours in service,
nica Palacio, OHR Director
DC Office of Human Rights | 202.727.4559 | ohr.dc.gov