Biden-Harris Administration Advances Historic Commitment to Protect the Civil Rights of All Americans

Interior Department joins efforts as part of Biden-Harris Administration’s National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism

Last edited 09/28/2023

Date: Thursday, September 28, 2023


WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Interior joined seven other agencies across the federal government to clarify for the first time in writing that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits certain forms of antisemitism, Islamophobia and related discrimination. Today’s announcement is the latest step of the implementation of the Biden-Harris administration’s historic U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism, released in May 2023.

“Every person in this country should have access to the resources that the federal government provides. Today, the Biden-Harris administration is leading by example and making it crystal clear that antisemitism, Islamophobia and related forms of discrimination have no place in America,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “Interior is committed to living up to our values as a country and enforcing these important civil rights protections.”

Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on shared ancestry or ethnic characteristics, applies to all programs and activities supported by federal financial assistance. Thus, these protections are wide-ranging and provide important tools to prevent and curb discrimination, including certain forms of antisemitic, Islamophobic, and related forms of discrimination and bias.

The National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism represents the most comprehensive and ambitious U.S. government effort to counter antisemitism in American history. It includes over 100 new actions the administration will take to raise awareness of antisemitism and its threat to American democracy, protect Jewish communities, reverse the normalization of antisemitism, and build cross-community solidarity.  

The Department released a  Interior Fact Sheet FCS TitleIV 9-26-23 [pdf]
 today that specifies how the Title VI provisions apply to its federally funded programs and activities and how to report incidents of discrimination. This builds on work being done across the Department to ensure that America’s public lands remain inclusive and open to all, including a new page on the National Park Service’s Religion & Spirituality website to aggregate resources and content on Jewish American culture and history.


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