DC Office of Human Rights Newsletter | Volume VI | November 2018
DC Values Inclusion and Diversity
According to a Bloomberg Ranking , the District is the sixth most diverse city in the country. With the rise of hateful rhetoric and hate crimes in the nation's capital and around the nation, it is important for the public to know that they have a place to turn to if they experience discrimination or a bias-related crime. Along with many key District agencies, we stand at the ready to help build a culture where all people feel and are safe. If you or someone you know has experienced a bias-related crime, please direct them to the resource page below, which includes information about getting hate speech removed, DC's 24/7 Victim Hotline, Metropolitan Police Department resources and much more.
Trait of the Month: Color
This protected trait makes it illegal to discriminate against someone based on skin pigmentation or complexion. For more information or to file a complaint, visit our website; ohr.dc.gov .
This Month's Spotlights
Join the Department of Housing and Community Development's Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) orientation class on Saturday, December 1st from 10 am to noon at 1800 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE . The District’s IZ Program is one innovative approach used to house more Washingtonians. Thanks to IZ, residents can find safe and affordable housing in high cost areas of the city, such as Navy Yard and Mount Vernon Square .

OHR will be hosting our Human Rights Liaison Training on Thursday, November 29th in our building (441 4th St NW). Attendees will participate in a free, daylong training on the discrimination laws OHR enforces, as well as the process on how to identify and file a complaint if a client(s) experiences illegal discrimination. If you work with the public and are interested in learning more about our office, click the link below to sign up for the November training. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

DC Inmates Cast their Votes in 2018 Midterm Election
It was really rewarding for OHR to participate as neutral poll watchers on October 31st from inside DC Jail. DC is one of only three jurisdictions to allow people serving time to vote in both primary and general elections. Additionally, in DC voting rights are automatically restored to those with felonies upon release. Over 70 people cast their ballot in this year's general election. Very special thank you to the DC Department of Corrections  and the District of Columbia Board of Elections !

Director's Note
Dear Neighbors and Partners,
I write to you again with a message of hope. Yes, it is true, news of intolerance and hate-filled actions bombard us almost daily. Yet the District continues to actively show other cities around the country the power of strength through solidarity. I am so proud that our values of inclusion and acceptance are alive and well, but we can do better. 
As the District continues to grow into a more richly diverse metropolis we are actively working to stand together and assert respect for all of our neighbors. I have been a resident for 28 years and I know the vast majority of our residents, new and old, share in our values of inclusion. But too often I hear people say “nobody is really from here.” I swiftly remind them of the African-American families that have proudly established roots in this city for more than a hundred years. Washington, DC is a historically Black city and as allies we must not forget to honor it as a home to so many seeking freedom, prosperity and the America Dream. They built this city and we stand on their shoulders. 
Our history as the "Chocolate City" can teach us. We can look to the successes of our African-American brothers and sisters who came here to build schools and businesses after breaking away from the horrible reality of slavery. They built a thriving and welcoming city that has overcome many challenges, not the least of them racism. So, I encourage you to join me, read more, listen more and learn more about our amazing city. We are stronger when can listen to one another and safer when we can lend our strength to others and stand in that gap when someone needs an ally. Mayor Bower constantly affirms these values and I invite you to join us in working daily to affirm them too.   

Yours in solidarity,
Monica Palacio, Director
DC Office of Human Rights | 202.727.4559 | ohr.dc.gov