Civil Rights Community Applauds Guidance Affirming Legality of Discussions of Race and Accurate History in the Classroom

Education News 08.24,23

Contact: Mattie Goldman, [email protected]

WASHINGTON — Maya Wiley, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement on the U.S. Department of Education’s issuance of a Resource on Race and School Programming:

“Today’s guidance from the department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is a welcome reminder that not only does Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 continue to allow for discussions of race, but that race consciousness is often required in order to achieve equal educational opportunity. The civil rights community has called for such guidelines over many months and welcomes this much needed step in the fight to ensure equal opportunity for all students. 

“The guidance reminds schools and districts that our civil rights laws prohibit discrimination in all its forms — not only those instances where the intent to discriminate is made explicit. Denying any student the opportunity to learn because of their race or ethnicity, including through the creation of racially hostile environments, is morally wrong and legally indefensible. Every politician seeking to whitewash our history and lie to our children is on notice — harassment will not be tolerated. All students deserve to feel safe, welcome, and included in their classrooms, and this resource is an essential tool to creating the learning environments children deserve.”

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 240 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit