Image of people viewing a demostration of 1949 New York State Commission on Discrimination

75th Anniversary


In 1945, seventy-five years ago, New York State became the first state in the nation to enact legislation prohibiting discrimination in employment based on race, color, creed, and national origin. This is how the Division of Human Rights was born and we are proud to say that today, we continue in our legacy of leadership. This year we celebrate this great achievement and milestone in our agency's history. We invite you to celebrate this anniversary with us.

New from DHR

Speakers from the NYS Division of Human Rights are available for educational purposes. Click above to request a representative from DHR to speak for your organization or event.

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Learn more about how DHR can help and what is covered by the NYS Human Rights Law by using our new self-screening tool.

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The New York State Human Rights Law covers all New Yorkers across the state and is enforced by the New York State Division of Human Rights. In addition to the State Human Rights Law, several counties, cities, and towns have their own laws prohibiting discrimination as well as local human rights commissions responsible for promoting those laws.

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Past Events

State Human Rights Laws As Laboratories of Democracy - 12/8/2020

The first part of this event will focus on the history and legacy of the Human Rights Law, and our agency's role. The second part of the program will provide a comparative analysis of different jurisdictions and protections pertaining to discrimination under the law and explore how state and local human rights laws have served to advance the causes of justice and equality.

Event Details

Discrimination and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Race, Disability, and the Struggle for Equal Treatment - 12/15/2020

This virtual program celebrating DHR’s 75th anniversary focused on an issue that continues to impact all of us: the COVID-19 Pandemic. While no one is immune from COVID-19, we have seen that certain communities have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and its effects. Throughout the pandemic, we have been forced to reckon with unjust targeting and attacks against Asian Americans, systemic health care disparities in Black and Brown communities, and the challenges, particularly in workplaces, for people with disabilities. This discussion focused on the role that civil rights and anti-discrimination protections, including the NYS Human Rights Law, can play to ensure that all communities are protected and safe as we continue to battle this global pandemic.

Event Details