Civil Rights and Legal Issues

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion September 18, 2017 Print Friendly and PDF


Civil Rights and Legal Issues

The Civil Rights and Legal Issues page offers resources to assist Extension and other higher education professionals comply with federal and state nondiscrimination, affirmation action and equal opportunity laws. Civil Rights and Legal Issues provides a forum for discussions about the social justice issues faced in the higher education communities across the county.

Featured Items

Discriminatory Job Postings? What's the Deal? HigherEd Jobs. February 3, 2017

Have you ever noticed job postings that seem to discriminate against a particular group that you thought were protected under anti-discrimination laws?


“My Title IX Inquisition” by Laura Kipnis.  The Chronicle Review. January 9, 2017.


“Published the week of the 2016 presidential election, Confronting Racial Bias at Work: Challenges and Solutions for 21st Century Employment Discrimination reviews the systemic barriers impacting workers of color drawing upon academic research, interviews with discrimination lawyers and EEOC officials, and surveys of worker advocates.

 The report argues that we must not only reinforce the largely reactive anti-discrimination structure established by law so that it reaches more workers and protects them more effectively, we must also promote proactive systemic solutions to increase the pressures, incentives, and mandates for racially equitable outcomes in employment.”


Some of the Major Federal Employment Discrimination Laws: Diversity in the Workplace & Environmental Protection.ppt

Civil rights for Latinos and Non-Black groups.pdf This Essay discusses a number of obstacles that lie in the way of protecting Latinos and other nonblack minority groups under the cur- rent framework of statutory and constitutional civil rights, including the Thirteenth Amendment. After discussing drawbacks associated with a system of civil rights protection still inflected with the rhetoric and norms of the 1 960s civil rights movement, the Essay closes by arguing that an increasingly multiracial society such as this one needs to develop a broader, more inclusive framework and - with Latinos in mind - sketches one.


Over the next few months, we will be posting excerpts from an essay  by Professor John D. Skretny called "Have We Moved Beyond the Civil Rights Revolution?" from the Yale Law Journal.

Abstract: Bruce Ackerman’s account of the Civil Rights Revolution stresses the importance of popular sovereignty and the separation of powers as the basis of constitutional significance. In this view, key spokespersons, including Martin Luther King, Jr. and Lyndon Johnson, served to provide leadership in the effort to eliminate “institutionalized humiliation” based on racial discrimination. But how well does this account explain the current state of employment civil rights in the U.S.? This essay explores the rise of “racial realism” in American employment relations, where employers see race as a real and significant part of worker identity. Employers see racial difference as something useful that can affect the effectiveness of their organizations. This has two variants: racial abilities, referring to perceptions that workers differ in ability based on their race, and racial signaling, where employers perceive that worker race can
signal different things to customers or members of the public. I explore the use and advocacy of racial realism in a variety of spheres of private and public employment, including at high- and low-skilled levels, and argue that racial realism is a significant departure from Ackerman’s vision because—despite its prominence—it lacks national spokespersons, lacks statutory basis and has very little court authorization, can harm nonwhites, and has never been debated in a public, deliberative forum.

Part 3 of the essay can be found here: Civil Rights Essay Part 3.pdf

Part 2 of the essay can be found here: Civil Rights Essay Part 2.pdf

Part 1 of the essay can be found here: Civil Rights Essay Part 1.pdf


There has been some coverage about workplace bullying on our site under the Workforce Diversity section. For more on that, see here:

However, although there is much information on recognizing workforce bullying, there is not as much information on the legal ramifications. For more on that, read this article the-legal-ramifications-of-workplace.pdf by the "Long
Island Business News."



Equal Employment Opportunity

University of Georgia College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Civil Rights Policy Statement

Social Justice

Wisconsin Cooperative Extension Civil Rights Outreach

Extension Tools and Techniques to Establish Civil Rights Contact Goals

On The Issues: Background on Civil Rights

Every Political Leader on Every Issue

Know Your Rights: When Encountering Law Enforcement

American Civil Liberties Union



Civil Rights and Legal Issues Section Editor:

Antonio Franklin

University of Illinois


Link to Other Aritcles


Photo by joegratz / CC BY

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.