50-Years Of Workplace Equality, Reunited

May 20, 2015, 17:07 ET from The OFCCP Institute

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On May 5-6, 2015, The OFCCP Institute, a national nonprofit employer association, brought together seven former directors of the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) to commemorate the anniversary of Executive Order (EO) 11246.  In a unique gathering in the Agency's 50-year history, the leadership convened to discuss and reminisce about EO 11246, equal employment opportunity and how the civil rights movement has shaped our country over the last five decades.

The meeting was captured for a documentary video that will be permanently housed at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee for visitors to learn about the critical role that EO 11246 played in the civil rights movement.  The following former OFCCP Directors (and their respective years of service as an OFCCP director provided in parentheses) attended this historic reunion:

  • Lawrence Z. Lorber (1975-1977)
  • Ellen Shong Bergman  (1981-1983)
  • Jerry D. Blakemore (1987-1988)
  • Fred W. Alvarez (1988)
  • Jaime Ramon (1992-1993)
  • Shirley J. Wilcher (1994-2001)
  • Charles E. James (2001-2009)

Fred W. Alvarez commented, "While each of us had responsibility for affirmative action enforcement at very different times, it was reassuring to be reminded how seriously each of us tried to carry out that mission."

The OFCCP Institute plays an instrumental role in assisting federal contractors in implementing EO 11246 by providing guidance, direction, and support to many of the nation's leading corporations as they incorporate workplace equality into their hiring practices.

In addition to the reunion event, The Institute is hosting a 50th Anniversary gala event on Thursday, September 24, 2015, to honor the civil rights community and the American workplace and commemorate the exact date of the signing of EO 11246.

David B. Cohen, Co-chair of The Institute, stated, "The 50th Anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 11246 is a significant milestone for the civil rights and federal contractor communities.  In efforts to honor the federal contractor community's historical and ongoing accomplishments in creating a more equitable workplace in the United States, The OFCCP Institute welcomes and encourages federal contractors to join us at this symbolic black-tie event with our sponsors, honorees, and key government speakers."

The black-tie gala will be held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. The event has received widespread support from the civil rights community and corporate sponsors, including The Memorial Foundation, builders of The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and the National Civil Rights Museum.  In addition, 100% of the proceeds raised from the event will go towards the EO 11246 Equality at Work Scholarship Fund, benefitting high school students. 

About EO 11246 - On September 24, 1965, the Nation took a historic step towards equal employment opportunity when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed and issued EO 11246.  Signed more than two years after Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I Have A Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and more than a year after Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, EO 11246 charged the Secretary of Labor with ensuring equal opportunity for minorities in federal contractors' recruitment, hiring, training and other employment practices.  EO 11246 prohibited federal contractors from discriminating in employment and required that they take affirmative action to ensure equal opportunity based on race, color, religion and national origin.  Amended by President Johnson in 1967 to include women, and most recently by President Barack H. Obama in 2014 to protect employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, EO 11246 continues achieve equal employment opportunities in the American workplace.  

About The OFCCP Institute - The OFCCP Institute is a national nonprofit employer association based in Washington, D.C.  The Institute trains and educates federal contractors in understanding and complying with their affirmative action and equal employment obligations.  The Institute also addresses related human resource management strategies to assist employers in creating and maintaining diverse organizations free from workplace bias.  The Institute is not affiliated with the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.  More information can be found by visiting https://theofccpinstitute.org and https://theofccpinstitute.org/50thanniversary/index.html.

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SOURCE The OFCCP Institute