As the Tennessee Human Rights Commission celebrates 50 years of education and enforcement, we are taking a moment to reflect on how far we have come. From changes like our name, Commissioners and staff, to the powerful evolution of enforcement responsibilities and legislation, there is a lot of history for reflection. We invite you to join us during our Anniversary Year for many events, workshops and meetings. Through these meetings we hope to discuss the development of human rights over the past 50 years, share how the Commission impacts your life today and have a conversation about the Commission’s future. Please check back with us as we are adding new historical documents, events and other news often.
An audience of nearly 300 people celebrated with the Commission at its 50th anniversary celebration honoring significant human and civil rights advocates. The program, which was held at the Nashville Airport Marriott on October 4, 2013, was taped and will be available on this website soon.
The program included Anne Holt, news anchor at WKRN-TV in Nashville, as moderator of a Panel Discussion with Dr. Rip Patton, John Seigenthaler, and Rev. Dr. Bernard Lafayette. These three individuals shared their reflections on their participation in the civil rights movement and how far Tennessee has come since Gov. Frank Clement signed Executive Order 18 in 1963 creating the state's first human relations commission.
During the program, Yvonne Wood of Lebanon; First Baptist Church Capitol Hill, Fred Cloud, Inez Crutchfield, all from Nashville; and Jeanne Varnell of Memphis received recognition for their outstanding contributions to human and civil rights.
Commissioner Jocelyn Dan Wurzburg of Memphis was honored with the "Jocelyn Wurzburg Civil Rights Legacy Award" which will be presented in the future to individuals who emulate her advocacy for human and civil rights. Wurzburg wrote the legislation in the 1970s that gave enforcement powers to the THRC.
View the program from the 50th Anniversary Celebration.
View more photos from the event.
Special thanks to our sponsors: Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, Waller Lansden, Bass, Berry & Sims, State Farm Agents & the Metro Nashville Human Relations Commission.