WASHINGTON – Fifty years ago today, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a historic piece of legislation that changed the landscape of American civil rights by outlawing many forms of discrimination against people of color and women. In commemoration of this landmark law, Advancement Project issued the following statement.
“Fifty years after the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, it is as critical now as ever to reignite the passion that led to past successes,” said Advancement Project Co-Director Judith Browne Dianis. “Civil rights remains unfinished business in America. Women continue to make 77 cents to every dollar earned by men. For African-American women this number drops to 61 cents; for Latinas, 52 cents. African-American and Latino children continue to be provided with fewer resources and are more likely to face harsh disciplinary policies that funnel them into the criminal justice system. And state after state continues to pursue legislation that disparately restricts access to the ballot for communities of color. There is work to be done to ensure that all Americans have an equal say in our democracy. On this 50-year anniversary, we must continue the work necessary to shape the next chapter of civil rights and reveal a clearer vision of equality in the United States.”
“As we reflect upon the significant progress toward equal opportunity made possible by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, we must also acknowledge the incredible work that remains,” said Advancement Project Co-Director Penda Hair. “From fair access to the ballot box, to equal pay for equal work, to inequities in our schools and justice system, there’s much more work to be done in order to ensure that all Americans have an equal claim to a life free from discrimination. Advancement Project will continue to support grassroots organizing, as well as community-based coalition building that taps both litigation and legislation as tools for change. Through these tactics, we can help ensure that the values enshrined in America’s civil rights legislation are justly upheld.”