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THRC Updates

EEOC Resumes Issuance of Charge Closure Documents

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced on August 3, 2020 that it will begin issuing charge closure documents that were suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic.


New York Times Opinion Article, By Rep. John Lewis:  Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation

Just before his death on July 17, 2020, Civil Rights leader, Rep. John Lewis wrote a touching opinion article for the New York Times, which he asked to be published on the day of his funeral.  He was laid to rest on July 30, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia.


Governor Bill Lee Signs Juneteenth Proclamation 

Governor Bill Lee signed a Juneteenth proclamation on June 19, 2020, Lee said "On this 155th Anniversary of Juneteenth, we recognize the end of slavery in the United States on June 19, 1865. I signed a Juneteenth proclamation to honor this day as it represents the promise of a free and just society that is guaranteed for every Tennessean."


Mark Hayes Appointed to Serve on the THRC Board of Commissioners

Governor Bill Lee appointed Mark Hayes of Dyersburg, TN to serve on the Tennessee Human Rights Board of Commissioners in January 2020.  Commissioner Hayes will represent West Tennessee through the end of his term on June 30, 2025.  This seat was formerly held by Rev. Ralph White of Memphis who suddenly passed away in May 2019.  Read more about Commissioner Hayes here.


U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:  What You Should Know About the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and COVID-19

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has provided guidance, a publication entitled Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans With Disabilities Act), consistent with these workplace protections and rules, that can help employers implement strategies to navigate the impact of COVID-19 in the workplace. This pandemic publication, which was written during the prior H1N1 outbreak, is still relevant today and identifies established ADA and Rehabilitation Act principles to answer questions frequently asked about the workplace during a pandemic.


U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development  Provides Important Coronavirus Information

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development  (HUD) has a website dedicated to important coronavirus information which includes tool kits, messages and fact sheets for tenants, housing providers, grantees and localities to use to help keep families safe and healthy.


The THRC Cancels West Tennessee Fair Housing Celebration

March 16, 2020: The Tennessee Human Rights Commission (THRC) on Monday announced the cancellation of the West Tennessee Fair Housing Celebration that was scheduled for April 8, 2020 at the National Civil Rights Museum  as a result of the museum temporarily closing to the public, beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020 until further notice due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The museum stated in an email notice that, while the Museum is closed, all public events and programming are canceled. This includes our annual April 4th commemorative service.  We will provide frequent updates on any changes in our operations status. Thank you for your understanding as we work together to ensure a safe environment for everyone associated with the Museum.


The THRC Cancels Knoxville Area Employment Law Seminar

March 13, 2020: The Tennessee Human Rights Commission (THRC) and the TN Department of Human Resources (DOHR) announce the cancellation of the Knoxville Area Employment Law Seminar that was scheduled for March 19, 2020 at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville as a result of the cancellation of all on-campus activities due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The University of Tennessee-Knoxville Chancellor Donde Plowman said in a statement on Wednesday “As of the time of this message, there have still been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Knox County or on our campus. After careful deliberation, we have decided to act to protect the well-being of those on our campus and to do our part to protect the health of our broader community and those who may be especially vulnerable to this virus.”

THRC and DOHR are working to reschedule the seminar.



Gary D. Behler and Annazette Houston Reappointed to serve on THRC Board of Commissioners

On December 23, 2019,  Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced over 70 appointees to a series of key boards and commissions. “We are proud to announce the appointments of these individuals to a series of key boards and commissions across Tennessee,” said Governor Lee. “I value the experience they bring to our state and appreciate their willingness to serve.”

Commissioner Gary Behler of Chattanooga and Commissioner Annazette Houston of Knoxville were both re-appointed to serve on the Tennessee Human Rights Board of Commissioners through the end of their terms on June 30, 2025. 



The Tennessee Human Rights Board of Commissioner’s accepted the annual report for fiscal year 2018-2019 for release at the September 13, 2019 Commission meeting.  The full report is available here

The report details statistical information, actions and initiatives to safeguard individuals from discrimination through education and enforcement. 

The report was released to the public on October 8, 2019.

Robin Derryberry

Tennessee Human Rights Board of Commissioners, Chair Robin Derryberry talks to WUTC radio in Chattanooga to give background information on THRC.  Click the link here for the full interview.

Rosetta Miller Perry

Mrs. Rosetta Miller Perry, a long-time Civil Rights activist has been named the recipient of the 2019 Tennessee Human Rights Commission’s Jocelyn D. Wurzburg Civil Rights Legacy Award. 

Mrs. Miller Perry was presented with the award on July 19, 2019.