To truly end discrimination, the corporate sector must ensure that its goods, services, and facilities are equally available to everyone. This requires staff training on civil rights, the implementation of sound policies and practices, and access to expertise that can be tailored to the distinct corporate culture. Through its Corporate Partnerships & Training Program, the ERC works with business leaders to promote equal access and opportunity for all as a corporate culture, and to demonstrate that prioritizing civil rights is not only the right thing to do, it's also smart business.
Today, nearly 57 million people in the United States, approximately one in five, have some type of disability. Despite federal, state and local civil rights laws that protect people with disabilities from discrimination, members of the disability community continue to encounter barriers in a variety of everyday settings. The right of all people with disabilities to have equal access in all aspects of their lives--from medical and government--offices to restaurants, transportation, and housing--is the driving force behind the ERC’s disability rights work.
Survivors of domestic violence are protected from housing and employment discrimination in many municipalities across the United States. Since 2007, the ERC has actively promoted the enforcement of local protections, as well as advocated for additional and more extensive protections for this vulnerable group.
The opportunity to seek and keep employment is a basic right of every individual in the United States. This right not only allows one to pursue a career of his/her choice, but grants one more diverse opportunities to choose where to live, where to send children for school, and the proximity to social and community activities.
Children have a right to grow up in the best housing available to them and their families. Yet families and single parents continue to face discrimination based on familial status that is, the presence of existing or soon to be born children, and custodianship. The ERC works to ensure all families are given equal treatment when seeking housing.
The ability to freely access and participate in all governmental services and activities is a right of every individual. Since our founding, the ERC has ensured members of protected groups are not discriminated against when trying to obtain access to government services, benefits, activities, and programs.
An individual’s right to choose where he or she lives affects all aspects of life, including employment and educational opportunities, proximity to friends and family, access to transportation, commercial and governmental services, and even personal safety. In addition to limiting these important measures of quality of life, housing discrimination degrades individuals and harms society by denying all residents and potential residents the opportunity to live and learn in a culturally diverse community. Yet housing discrimination continues to be a pervasive problem nationwide.
In recent years, many states and localities have adopted increasingly harsh anti-immigrant legislation. While purporting to target undocumented immigrants, the anti-immigrant fervor underlying these efforts makes life more difficult for all immigrants and perceived immigrants in the United States, regardless of legal status. As a result, a broad group of individuals across the country endure discrimination every day based on their national origin, race, or language.
More than 20 states, the District of Columbia, and a growing number of counties and cities include sexual orientation and gender identity as a protected class. Nonetheless, discrimination against people who identify as, or are perceived to be, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) persists in communities with and without protections.
The right to full and active participation in the business, recreation, and social activities of communities is a foundational tenet of the United States. Yet individuals across the nation are denied this right because of outdated physical and attitudinal barriers to public accommodations.
As an organization whose mission grew out of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, the ERC is committed to eliminating race-based discrimination. Although significant gains have been made, racial discrimination still occurs in housing, employment, and access to public accommodations.
Freedom of religion is a concept that was integral in the founding of our nation, and continues to define the United States today. Yet, despite our diverse religious history, hate crimes and discrimination based on religion still occur today. The ERC remains vigilant in protecting all individuals from unfair treatment due to their religious beliefs.
Women have made great strides toward equality over the past decades, yet gender bias continues to hinder women in the pursuit of employment, in the sales and rental of housing, and in the daily pursuits of education, health services, and more.
The ERC has advocated strongly for the enforcement of existing laws and the enactment of new legislation providing anti-discrimination protections based on “source of income.” Source of income can include, but is not limited to, Housing Choice Vouchers, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), unemployment insurance, or veteran’s benefits. Fighting against source of impact discrimination impacts millions of American families, allowing them to secure a home in their community of choice, leading to healthier, safer lives, and the peace of mind that all families deserve.