Monday, October 21, 2013

State Human Rights Award Named for Memphis' Wurzburg

“Jocelyn Dan Wurzburg Civil Rights Legacy Award” to be given henceforth to deserving recipients by THRC

Posted By on Mon, Oct 21, 2013 at 6:54 AM

Wurzburg with award
  • Wurzburg with award
Native Memphian Jocelyn Dan Wurzburg has been honored by the Tennessee Human Rights Commission (THRC) at its 50th anniversary celebration in Nashville for her longtime advocacy in civil rights and women’s rights. The Commission created a special award, to be called the “Jocelyn Dan Wurzburg Civil Rights Legacy Award,” which will be given to deserving recipients henceforth.

Said THRC executive director Beverly L Watts: "During this year of recognizing civil rights advocates throughout the state, the 50th Anniversary co-chairs and I realized Jocelyn Wurzburg embodies civil rights ideals, principles and dedication to equality. This award, the Jocelyn D. Wurzburg Civil Rights Legacy Award, was presented to Jocelyn D. Wurzburg for her specific contributions to the Commission and her dedication to equality. The Board will present this award at its discretion to those who embody the dedication to equality.”

Wurzburg was originally appointed to the THRC in 1971 by Gov. Winfield Dunn and was re-appointed in 2007 by Gov. Phil Bredesen. She authored the1978 legislation that became the Tennessee Human Rights Act. The act transformed the Commission from an advisory organization to one with powers to investigate, conciliate and litigate claims of discrimination.

A pioneer also in the process of mediation process, Wurzbug was originally appointed to the THRC in 1971 by Gov. Winfield Dunn and re-appointed in 2007 by Gov. Phil Bredesen. She authored the1978 legislation that became the Tennessee Human Rights Act and transformed the Commission from an advisory organization to one with powers to investigate, conciliate and litigate claims of discrimination.

She was also appointed by President Gerald R. Ford to the International Women’s Year commission in 1975 and brought the Panel of American Women to Memphis to confront racial and religious prejudice in the aftermath of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination.

An independent state agency, the THRC is responsible for enforcing the Tennessee Human Rights Act as well as the Tennessee Disability Act which prohibits discrimination based on race, creed, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age (40 and over in employment), familial status (housing only) and retaliation in employment, housing and public accommodations.

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