FARGO, N.D. (April 9, 2018)– Area experts who work to ensure the protections provided by the Fair Housing Act are gathering at the North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, April 9 to celebrate the 50thanniversary of the Fair Housing Act and to discuss the importance of the Act for individuals in North Dakota.

The Fair Housing Actis a federal act that prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental and other housing-related transactions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and disability. President Lyndon Johnson signed into law Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, commonly known as the Fair Housing Act, on April 11, 1968, seven days after the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“On April 11 we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the passage of the federal Fair Housing Act,” said Michelle Rydz, Founder and Executive Director of the High Plains Fair Housing Center. “The Act passed only seven days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and became one of his most important legacies.”

Experts who will patriciate in a panel discussion following the screening of three short films include: Lorraine Davis, Executive Director of the Native American Development Center; Cheryl Kary, Executive Director of Sacred Pipe Resource Center; David Klein, Executive Director of Stutsman County Housing Authority; Michelle Rydz, Executive Director of High Plains Fair Housing Center; Royce Schultz, Executive Director of the Dakota Center for Independent Living; and Vicki Slavik, Investigator for the North Dakota Department of Labor and Human Rights. The panel will be moderated by Aruna Seth, Vice Chair of the North Dakota Human Rights Coalition.

The short films “Seven Days”, “Matter of Place” and portions of “Brick by Brick” will be screened and followed by a panel discussion that will highlight the importance of fair housing and its impact in North Dakota.

“High Plains Fair Housing works to eliminate housing discrimination and to ensure equal housing opportunities in North Dakota,” said Rydz. “As our state becomes more diverse-there continues to be evidence that housing discrimination exists in this state, particularly against persons with disabilities, Native Americans, New Americans, and families with children.”

The event will take place in Bismarck on Monday, April 9 from 6-8 p.m. at the North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum. The Human Family has partnered with High Plains Fair Housing Center, the Greater Grand Forks Apartment Association and the North Dakota Human Rights Coalition to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act.

The event is free and open to the public. ADA accommodations are available by contacting ADA@Human-Family.org. Tickets are suggested by not required and are available at the Human Family website www.human-family.org.

The Human Familyis a 501(c)(3) organization based in Fargo, North Dakota, and is dedicated to the creation, support, promotion and distribution of human rights, social justice and social issue-based projects. The Human Family develops original content such as The North Dakota Human Rights Film & Arts Festival. For more information visit the Human Family website, www.human-family.org.

 

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