Turning in tampa

Founding Members Celebrate Tampa's Office of Human Rights 


This information is 1 month old and may no longer be accurate.
Posted
Guest speakers Fred Hearns and Patricia Newton

Guest speakers Fred Hearns and Patricia Newton 

MEDIA AVAILABILITY
 
WHO: Mayor Jane Castor will be joined by past and present employees of the Office of Human Rights, Human Rights Board members, and other community supporters to mark 55 years since the City of Tampa investigated the first discrimination complaint, 50 years since the creation of the Office of Human Rights, and 30 years since the passage of the City's human rights ordinance.
DATE: Wednesday, April 13, 2022
TIME: 1:30 p.m.
LOCATION: DoubleTree by Hilton, 4500 W. Cypress Street, Tampa, FL

Interview opportunities with Investigations Supervisor Maurice Foster and guest speakers Fred Hearns and Patricia Newton will be available at 12:30 p.m.


The Tampa Office of Human Rights will host a special gathering to celebrate its remarkable history and honor the former employees who helped pave the way for its formation.

On Wednesday, April 13, 2022, Mayor Jane Castor will be joined by past and present employees of the Office of Human Rights, Human Rights board members, and other community supporters to mark 55 years since the City of Tampa investigated the first complaint, 50 years since the creation of the Office of Human Rights, and 30 years since the passage of the City's human rights ordinance. Prior to 1992, the Tampa Office of Human Rights operated under state and federal statutes.

Five former employees will also be honored for the historic steps they took to spearhead the creation of this office, which is responsible for investigating and enforcing anti-discrimination laws within the City of Tampa. Guest speakers Fred Hearns and Patricia Newton will share their background and memories of the evolution of the Office of Human Rights and the integral role they played.

Hearns, who began working for the City of Tampa in 1975, under the leadership of then Mayor Bill Poe, served in what was previously known as the Community Relations Office. At the time, the office had no official enforcement power of discrimination complaints and instead worked with local businesses, property owners, and managers, through voluntary compliance. Hearns ultimately became the City's human rights director in 1992.

After a long and celebrated career with the City of Orlando, Patricia Newton moved to Tampa to lead the Office of Human Rights from 2016 to 2019. 

"Our Office of Human Rights has evolved drastically over the years and its history serves as a reflection of our City's commitment to social justice," said Mayor Jane Castor. "We are honoring the people who helped build this office from the ground up and also celebrate our current current team members for the passion they display every day as they fight to protect the rights of our residents."

During this event, Mayor Castor will also present the official proclamation, declaring April as Fair Housing Month.