75th Anniversary Registration

Celebrating 75 Years

NJ Division on Civil Rights

In 1945, New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination became the first state-level civil rights statute in the country. The Division on Civil Rights is charged with enforcing this law, and with preventing and eliminating discrimination in the state of New Jersey.

75th Anniversary of the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights – Law Against Discrimination
“Stop the Hate” Series 2020 – 2021

#CivilRightsNJ #StopTheHate

Wed., April 7, 2021, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. 

75th Anniversary of the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights and NJ Law Against Discrimination “Stop the Hate” Series: Trailblazer Award

 Welcome: Governor Phil Murphy

 Opening Remarks: Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and Division on Civil Rights Director, Rachel Wainer Apter

 Civil Rights Trailblazer Award Keynote Address: Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman

 Closing Remarks: Division on Civil Rights Commissioner and NAACP New Jersey State Conference President Richard T. Smith

 New Jersey Division on Civil Rights and Law Against Discrimination Virtual Exhibit Reveal

Wed., April 14, 2021, 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

75th Anniversary of the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights and NJ Law Against Discrimination “Stop the Hate” Series: The Future of the LAD and Civil Rights in NJ

 Series Panel 1: The Future of the LAD and Civil Rights in NJ. Moderated by DCR Deputy Director, Rosemary DiSavino

Mary Ciccone, Director of Policy, Disability Rights New Jersey

Sara Cullinane, Director and Co-Founder, Make the Road New Jersey

Jeanne LoCiero, Legal Director, American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey

Ryan Haygood, President and CEO, New Jersey Institute for Social Justice  

Akil Roper, Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, Legal Services of New Jersey

 Session Description:

When the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination went into effect in April of 1945, it made New Jersey the first state with a comprehensive anti-discrimination statute since Reconstruction. Since that time, New Jersey has remained at the forefront of ensuring of its citizens’ civil rights by amending the LAD numerous times, adding further protections to keep pace with evolving societal changes. In describing the impact of the LAD, the New Jersey Supreme Court recently said, “[o]ne searches in vain to find another New Jersey enactment having an equivalently powerful statement of purpose.” This presentation will briefly discuss New Jersey’s civil rights history and will outline the future of how the LAD could or should expand going forward to address current civil rights issues in New Jersey.

Learning Objectives: 

Attendees should gain the following from this virtual discussion and its CLE resources:

  1. An understanding of the key civil rights protections that have made the LAD one of the broadest civil rights laws in the country;
  2. An understanding of areas in which discrimination and bias-based harassment continue to harm the people of New Jersey;
  3. A sense of the work that is being done to combat persistent discrimination and bias-based harassment in New Jersey given the current protections offered by the LAD:
  4. A sense of any changes needed to ensure that the LAD and its enforcing regulations effectively address the ongoing and evolving obstacles to real equality under the law.

Wed., April 21, 2021, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

75th Anniversary of the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights and NJ Law Against Discrimination “Stop the Hate” Series: Healthy Equity: Racism’s Impact on Public Health

 Series Panel 2: Healthy Equity: Racism’s Impact on Public Health Moderated by Mr. Nashon Hornsby, JD, LLM, Department of Health Assistant Commissioner for the Division of Community Health Services

Opening Remarks:  First Lady Tammy Murphy, introduced by DCR Chief of Staff, Aarin Williams

Dorothy Roberts, George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology and the Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights at the University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Bob Atkins, Director, New Jersey Health Initiatives Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Dr. Brenda Seals, The College of New Jersey Public Health Department Chair and Associate Professor

Dr. Chris Pernell, Chief Strategic Integration and Health Equity Officer, University Hospital, Fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine and Clinical Assistant Professor, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

Thalia Sirjue, Deputy Chief of Staff, New Jersey Department of Health

Greg Paulson, Executive Director of the Trenton Health Team

 Session Description:

This interactive session will explore the history of systemic racism and discrimination in healthcare, mental health services, and other social structures and its impact on health outcomes and health disparities. This panel of leading health equity experts will discuss their roles with respect to addressing and eradicating inequities, while also sharing with attendees the complexities inherent in health disparities, given the breadth and depth of racial disparities in the areas of social determinants of health, such as in access to care, education, transportation, employment, housing, and income.

Learning Objectives:

Attendees should gain the following from this virtual discussion and its CLE resources:

  1. An awareness of some of the key disparities that demonstrate that racial minorities and other protected classes are disproportionately impacted in the quality of care rendered in the healthcare system;
  2. An understanding of the LAD and what civil rights violations in healthcare look like with insight on maternal child health, COVID-19, etc.
  3. An understanding of the interconnectivity of the social determinants of health (i.e., access to care, education, transportation, employment, housing, and income) with health outcomes;
  4. A sense of the work that must be performed in healthcare and in the areas of the social determinants of health and advocacy in order to address systemic racism and eradicate health inequities;
  5. An awareness of some of the strategies being undertaken by panelists to address racial disparities in health care; and
  6. Some of the challenges that persist as a result of discriminatory practices in healthcare and possible action steps community members can take to help lessen the impact of bias and related inequities in New Jersey.


Wed., April 28, 2021, 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

75th Anniversary of the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights and NJ Law Against Discrimination “Stop the Hate” Series: Current Challenges in Fair Housing


Series Panel 3: Current Challenges in Fair Housing. Moderated by DCR Chief of Strategic Initiatives and Enforcement, Aaron Scherzer

Opening Remarks:   Jeanine Worden, Acting Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development  


James C. Williams, IV, Director of Racial Justice Policy, Fair Share Housing Center

Dr. Nichole Nelson, Policy Analyst, New Jersey Institute for Social Justice

Renee Koubiadis, Executive Director, Anti-Poverty Network of NJ

Alice Kwong, Senior Supervisory Attorney on the LSNJ Statewide Hotline and Co-Chief Counsel of Housing Law, Legal Services of New Jersey


Closing Remarks: Morgan Williams, General Counsel for the National Fair Housing Alliance

Session Description:

The Law Against Discrimination includes a prohibition against housing discrimination.  This panel will discuss current challenges in fair housing, focused primarily on New Jersey, with some insight into issues at the national level. Experienced advocates will share the most important fair housing issues they have encountered in their work. The discussion will focus on fair housing challenges, including those related to systemic and interpersonal discrimination, and the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated and laid bare existing challenges.  The panel will cover both longstanding entrenched issues and new issues that have arisen more recently. Finally, the panelists will discuss possible steps to address the challenges identified during the course of the presentation.

Learning Objectives:

Attendees should gain the following from this virtual discussion and its CLE resources:

  • New Jersey’s LAD housing related history and its future given current racial justice and COVID concerns.
  • April is Fair Housing Month: Clarification around the misconception that affordable housing and fair housing are the same.
  • Examples of prevalent forms of housing discrimination and how New Jersey has the opportunity to enforce fair housing law more effectively.



Wed., April 28, 2021, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

75th Anniversary of the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights and NJ Law Against Discrimination “Stop the Hate” Series: An Anti-Bias Vision for the Next Generation-Youth Conversation and Art Competition Exhibit Reveal

 In 2019, more than half of known bias offenders in New Jersey were age 25 or younger. The recommendations in New Jersey’s Interagency Task Force to Combat Youth Bias report focus on the future of New Jersey’s young people and outline how we can work towards a more equitable and just state. Task Force recommendations outline a bold vision to guide New Jersey’s young people, unapologetically, down a new path, one where all of New Jersey’s communities are seen, reflected, and valued. To see this vision become a reality, we must educate our entire community to recognize and challenge implicit, explicit, and systemic biases, we must begin dismantling the biases imbedded in our State’s institutions, and we must protect New Jersey’s historically-marginalized residents. DCR’s implementation of the student youth art, hashtag, slogan, and video competition was a part of the Report, launching a statewide campaign to stand up to hate in New Jersey.  We are thrilled to showcase the contest submissions and discuss the winning anti-bias pieces with our students.

Full Report: https://www.nj.gov/oag/dcr/downloads/2020-ybtf-report.pdf

Welcome: Attorney General Gurbir Grewal

Opening Remarks:  Elise Boddie, Rutgers Law School, Professor of Law, Henry Rutgers Professor, Robert L. Carter Scholar, founding Newark Director of Rutgers University’s Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice

Youth Awards Ceremony and Conversation/Virtual Exhibit Reveal

Awards Presentation & Candid Anti-Bias Conversation. Moderated by Community Relations Specialist, Ashley Riker

  1. YBTF Student Competition Winner – slogan
  2. YBTF Student Competition Winner – art
  3. YBTF Student Competition Winner – hashtag
  4. YBTF Student Competition Winner – video
  5. Educator & Student Honorable Mention

Call to Action, Engagement and Next Steps: DCR Director of Outreach and Community Relations, Dr. Denalerie Johnson-Faniel

Closing Remarks:   DCR Director, Rachel Wainer Apter

#StopTheHate Exhibits

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