In 1985, Clarence Thomas, then Chairman of the EEOC, was attempting to implement regulations so that proving employment discrimination would become more difficult. A group of civil rights advocates came together to challenge his new regulations and won! Thus, the California Civil Rights Coalition was born.
The founders of CCRC recognized that advocates from different issue areas needed to come together to seek a just and healthy California for all. In the same manner that counties offer mutual aid to each other, civil rights-minded activists, lawyers, scholars, advocates, policy-makers, students and community members must also come to each other’s aid and/or defense. They imagined a California that integrates all people into the folds of society with equal access to opportunity and the pursuit of happiness.
Since then, CCRC has successfully blocked the confirmation of conservative judges such as Judge Robert Bork, and has also fought against the passage of racist and discriminatory ballot initiatives such as Prop 187 in 1994, Prop 209 in 1996 and Prop 8 in 2008. In addition, CCRC held a tribunal at Stanford to investigate the abuse of workers and other unfair labor practices at Webb Ranch. It has regularly facilitated the support of the coalition to our member’s efforts to seek progressive policy for our constituents.
Today, as we celebrate our 25th anniversary, CCRC has over 100 organizational members statewide and supports our member’s issues anywhere from disability rights to housing access, from immigrants rights to economic justice. And though we haven’t made it to the promised land yet, we know we can get there if we stand together.