Title VI History

Curbing Discrimination

The landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a product of the growing demand from African-American leaders for the federal government to launch a nationwide offensive against racial discrimination. In calling for its enactment, President John F. Kennedy identified simple justice as the justification for Title VI:

"Simple justice requires that public funds, to which all taxpayers of all races contribute, not be spent in any fashion, which encourages, entrenches, subsidizes, or results in racial discrimination. Direct discrimination by federal, state, or local governments is prohibited by the constitution. But indirect discrimination, through the use of federal funds, is just as invidious; and it should not be necessary to resort to the courts to prevent each individual violation."

Additional Information

Read more about the origins of Title VI and how the U.S. Congress recognized the need for an all-inclusive statutory nondiscrimination provision.