NASHVILLE, TN – Annually the Tennessee Human Rights Commission (THRC) along with national fair housing organizations, fair housing advocates and communities across the country celebrate April as Fair Housing Month.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, TN. In response to this national tragedy President Lyndon Johnson marshalled his resources to speed up the Congressional approval on the Fair Housing bill. On April 11, 1968, President Lyndon Johnson signed Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 also known as the Fair Housing Act into law, just seven days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibits discrimination in housing. “It proclaims that Fair Housing for all, all human beings who live in this country, is now part of the American Way”. President Johnson said before signing the act.

Under the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and the Tennessee Human Rights Act, it is illegal to discriminate based on one or more protected classes: race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and disability.

The Tennessee Human Rights Commission (THRC) and Memphis Area Legal Services will co-host the 2019 West Tennessee Fair Housing Celebration on Thursday, April 11, 2019 from 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN. Conference registration is $50.

Sponsoring partners of the 2019 West Tennessee Fair Housing Celebration are Memphis Area Legal Services, Shelby County and the City of Memphis.

There are several Fair Housing events scheduled to take place across the state in April. The Equality Coalition for Housing Opportunities (ECHO) will hold its 2019 spring conference on Friday, April 5, 2019 from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m  at the Foundry in Downtown Knoxville, TN. Conference registration is $65.

The Housing Equality Alliance of Tennessee (HEAT) Tennessee Fair Housing Matters Conference will be held on Thursday, April 18, 2019 from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at the Embassy Suites Nashville Airport.  Conference registration starts at $95.

Many topics including landlord tenant laws, disabilities in housing, the complaint process, lending and home ownership are just a few areas that will be discussed at the fair housing events.

The Tennessee Human Rights Commission is an independent state agency responsible for enforcing the state’s anti-discrimination laws, which prohibit discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodation and coordinates compliance with Title VI of the Civil rights Act of 1964.

The Commission’s role is to enforce and prohibit discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodation based on race, creed, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age (40 and over in employment), familial status (housing only) and retaliation in employment, housing and public accommodations.