New York State In-depth

EEOC to meet in Buffalo to reinforce fight against racism | Local News

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will meet in Buffalo this month to demonstrate its commitment to fighting racism and inequality following the mass shooting at a Tops supermarket on May 14.

The federal agency will hold a “listening session” in City Hall’s Common Council chamber on Aug. 22, as it gathers input for its strategic enforcement plan for the next five years. This will be the first time the EEOC has met outside Washington, DC, since 2015.

“Wisdom exists in many communities outside of Washington, and Buffalo, like so many American cities, has a history inextricably tied to racial discrimination but also to resilience and civil rights advocacy,” said Charlotte A. Burrows, the EEOC chair. Ten Black people were killed in the racially motivated attack at a Tops store on Jefferson Avenue.

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will meet in Buffalo on Aug. 22, to demonstrate the federal agency’s commitment to fighting discrimination.

Derek Gee / News file photo

The meeting in Buffalo will hear witnesses’ suggestions for addressing racial and economic justice in the agency’s next strategic enforcement plan. Every five years, the EEOC issues a strategic enforcement plan to outline its enforcement and outreach priorities.

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“Our goal is to determine how the EEOC can best do its part to address systemic discrimination in Buffalo and across the nation, so that all workers have access to equal employment and economic opportunities,” Burrows said.

The agency will hold two additional listening sessions, both of them in Washington, DC, before developing a proposed plan for the commission to vote on.

Charlotte Burrows

EEOC chair Charlotte Burrows

Provided photo

The EEOC described its Buffalo office as one of its most active local offices. The agency is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee.

The EEOC said Monday it has not yet scheduled a time for the Aug. 22 meeting.

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