75th Anniversary

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

On April 16, 1945, Governor Walter E. Edge signed a bill sponsored by Dr. James O. Hill, enacting the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and creating the Division Against Discrimination (now known as the Division on Civil Rights). Dr. Hill, who served as State Assemblyman for Newark, drafted the law to prevent discrimination on account of race, creed, color, and national origin or ancestry, making the LAD the nation’s very first state civil rights statute to go into effect 75 years ago.  We thank Governor Edge and Dr. Hill, and realize that many feel the nation is literally at the edge of a hill. 

The New Jersey Division on Civil Rights invites all community members to join us in April 2021 to re-imagine how to create a more equitable future. The joint pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism have impacted all areas of life: public health, education, employment, housing, and criminal justice. Spring represents rebirth and we invite you to join us for a state-wide convening, a participatory virtual experience for learning, networking, and transformation. The convening will cultivate community, identify actionable principles for equity, scale effective justice, and bring about multi-faceted community healing.

The virtual community event includes a luminary keynote and panelists, a celebratory tribute to our New Jersey civil rights heroes, an interactive timeline display and exhibit showcase, strategic and collaborative sessions around discrimination and harassment, health equity, anti-racism, youth anti-bias engagement, fair housing, and more.

The mission of the Division on Civil Rights is to prevent, eliminate, and remedy discrimination and bias-based harassment in employment, housing, and places of public accommodation throughout New Jersey. DCR’s vision is a New Jersey free from discrimination and bias where all people are treated with equal dignity and equal respect and have access to equal opportunity. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) prohibits discrimination and harassment based on actual or perceived race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, and other protected characteristics. The law applies in employment, housing, and places of public accommodation (generally, places open to the public, including businesses, restaurants, schools, summer camps, medical providers, government agencies, etc.).

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Video Recordings

The New Jersey Division on Civil Rights invites all community members to join us for the #StopTheHate Series in April 2021 to re-imagine how to create a more equitable future. Please visit the session links to learn more and register.

Virtual Exhibit

The New Jersey Division on Civil Rights invites all community members to join us for the #StopTheHate Series in April 2021 to re-imagine how to create a more equitable future. Please visit our virtual exhibits to learn more about our work and help us celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Law Against Discrimination.

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