The Craig Fahle Show

Legislative Legacy: The Civil Rights Act 50 Years Later

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Photo courtesy of Deputy Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights Leslee Fritz speaks with Craig about the legacy of the Civil Rights Act, 50 years after it was first enacted.

Fritz sits down with Craig to discuss the impact of the 1964 legislation in Michigan and beyond. Michigan’s first US Congresswoman Martha Griffiths was instrumental in the prohibition of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Fritz tells Craig. “It became the foundational first step for creating equality for women,” she says.

Supervisory Investigator and Program Analyst of the Detroit Field Office for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)( Daron Calhoun also participates in the conversation with Craig and Fritz. The EEOC was a monumental development that came out of the sweeping 1964 Civil Rights legislation.

Calhoun says the Commission is responsible for enforcing Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, along with the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the amended Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA).

However, LGBT rights and nondiscrimination protections are still not in place. For this reason, Fritz and Calhoun both agree that our country and state has come a long way, but there’s still much to accomplish. As far as housing for the LGBT community goes, Fritza says “it it wont be addressed at the federal level, it needs to happen in Lansing.”

“I think without question, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forever changed the fabric of this nation,” Fritz tells Craig.

--Annamarie Sysling