Celebrating 60 Years of Civil Rights in Tennessee

Monday, June 10, 2024 | 10:02am
THRC 60th Invitation


The Tennessee Human Rights Commission celebrates its 60th Anniversary and the 60th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

(Nashville, TN - June 10, 2024)

The Tennessee Human Rights Commission will be celebrating its 60th Anniversary on Tuesday, July 2, 2024, from 5:30 – 8:00pm CDT at the National Museum of African Music in Nashville, TN. The theme for the Anniversary is “Honoring our Past, Celebrating our Present, Safeguarding our Future: Marking 60 years of Civil Rights in Tennessee”.

For 60 years, the Tennessee Human Rights Commission (THRC) has been serving the state of Tennessee by educating Tennesseans on their civil rights and responsibilities, enforcing anti-discrimination laws in employment, housing, and public accommodations, and monitoring the State of Tennessee's Title VI compliance. The Commission was born out of the Civil Rights Movement, being established nearly one month after the March on Washington on September 30, 1963, when Governor Frank G. Clement signed Executive Order 18. To honor that legacy, the event will be hosted on the same date, July 2nd, of the 60th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The THRC 60th Anniversary will commemorate important figures and moments in Tennessee Civil Rights history, celebrate the evolution of the Commission over the past 60 years, and highlight the state of Civil Rights today and in the future of Tennessee. The program will feature the presentation of the Jocelyn D. Wurzburg Civil Rights Legacy Award. The Wurzburg Award, named after former Commissioner Jocelyn Wurzburg who wrote the Tennessee Human Rights Act, is awarded to an individual whose life work embodies the ideals of inclusion, equity, and a commitment to human rights. This year’s award will honor Patricia Robledo of Knoxville. Currently serving as the EL Family Liaison with the Office of the Ombudsman for Knox County Schools, Ms. Robledo has dedicated her career to creating opportunities for non-English speakers in East Tennessee.

The event program will also include the “Safeguarding our Future” panel, discussing the state of Civil Rights in Tennessee. The panel will be moderated by Dr. Russ Wigginton of the National Civil Rights Museum and feature guest panelists Clifton Harris of the Urban League of Middle TN, Debra House of the Legal Aid of East Tennessee, Jack Derryberry of Disability Rights TN, and Roshun Austin of The Works, Inc.

Partners for the THRC 60th Anniversary include the National Museum of African American Music, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Urban league of Middle Tennessee, Derryberry Public Relations, the Tennessee Department of Human Resources, and others. Sponsors of the THRC 60th Anniversary include the Blue Cross Blue Shield, Air Assault Team – Keller Williams Realty, Tennessee Housing Development Agency, Fifth Third Bank, Tennessee Fair Housing Council, Empire Distributors Inc., Asurion, Nashville Davidson County Register of Deeds, and others.

The event is free to attend however registration is required. Registration is open until Friday, June 28th. 

Sponsorship opportunities are limited. The deadline for sponsors is Wednesday, June 19th. Sponsorship benefits include reserved seating in the NMAAM Roots Theater during the event program, logo and ads displayed on event visuals, and listing on the THRC website and Annual Report.

To register as an attendee, sign up as an event sponsor, or to learn more information about the THRC 60th Anniversary, please visit here.

For any questions about the THRC 60th Anniversary, please email thrc.communications@tn.gov or call 800-251-3589.

The mission of the Tennessee Human Rights Commission is “safeguarding individuals from discrimination through education and enforcement”. THRC is the primary agency responsible for enforcing civil rights laws in Tennessee in employment, housing, and public accommodation. The Commission prohibits discrimination based on race, creed, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age (40 and over in employment), familial status (housing only) and retaliation.

For more information on the Tennessee Human Rights Commission, call 800-251-3589, email ask.thrc@tn.gov or visit the agency's website at www.tn.gov/humanrights