Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Human Rights Commission and Nashville Chamber target housing and employment discrimination

According to this press release, a new public/private initiative is underway to prevent housing and employment discrimination against Hispanic people in Tennessee:

The Tennessee Human Rights Commission (THRC) and the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce* (NAHCC) announced recently that the agencies are partnering in an initiative to raise awareness in Nashville’s Hispanic community on the illegalities and widespread but subtle forms of housing and employment discrimination. Through a series of educational forums hosted by the NAHCC, the partners are seeking to eliminate barriers to fair housing and discriminatory employment practices that this community has witnessed.

“According to the most recent HUD housing discrimination study, Hispanics experience discrimination one in four times when trying to rent a home. We have heard of Hispanics being charged per person to rent apartment units. Our goal is to ensure that the Hispanic communities throughout Tennessee are made aware of their housing and employment rights. We have started in Nashville because of its significant number of Hispanics, nearly 80,000,” said Amber Gooding, executive director of the THRC.

Commenting on the partnership, Yuri Cunza, president of the NAHCC, said, “We are very confident that partnering with the Tennessee Human Rights Commission will improve the chances of getting this vital information out to the Hispanic Community. Population growth plays a key role on the economic development of our city, we need to make sure Nashville is the best place to live, work as well as visit. It is our responsibility to create these conditions. As the president of the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber, I have received calls from people who need assistance with employment and housing issues. This is a natural step towards progress for any community, and it is not only restricted to Hispanics”. The first of a series of educational forums is scheduled to begin this month. The NAHCC will promote and advertise the forums that will be held at various venues around the city.

The THRC’s role is to safeguard the citizens of Tennessee from discrimination, through enforcement and education in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodation because of race, creed, color, religion, sex, disability, age (over 40), national origin, or familial status.

Anyone who believes they have experienced housing or employment discrimination is asked to call the THRC at 1-800-251-3589 or visit the agency’s website at www.state.tn.us/humanrights/.

For more information about this partnership or for assistance in Spanish please call the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (NAHCC) at 615-216-5737

*There are two Hispanic Chambers of Commerce in Nashville - the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

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