Strengthening Civil Rights

President Obama is leading the fight to protect everyone - no matter who you are, where you're from, what you look like, or who you love.

Empowerment Through Diversity

“What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on earth. The belief that our destiny is shared; that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations. The freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for come with responsibilities as well as rights. And among those are love and charity and duty and patriotism. That's what makes America great.”

– President Obama, November 7, 2012

President Obama believes that our nation derives strength from the diversity of its population and from its commitment to equal opportunity for all. That’s why we’ve made diversity and inclusion a top priority inside this administration and throughout the federal government. “With liberty and justice for all” lies at the heart of the President’s policy agenda. On the night of his re-election, the President stated “I believe we can keep the promise of our founding -- the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are, or where you come from, or what you look like, or where you love -- it doesn’t matter whether you're black or white, or Hispanic or Asian, or Native American, or young or old, or rich or poor, abled, disabled, gay or straight -- you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.”

In August 2011, the President signed an Executive Order announcing a government-wide initiative to promote diversity and inclusion in the federal workforce. He directed executive departments and agencies to focus on diversity and inclusion as a key component of their human resources strategies, and instructed that the agencies both promote diversity and remove barriers to equal employment opportunity.  To implement the President’s diversity initiative, The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued a government-wide diversity and inclusion strategic plan, and related guidance.  OPM has conducted more than 40 trainings on the development of agency-specific strategic plans and on the government-wide diversity and inclusion initiative.

Learn more about the President’s commitment to promoting diversity for African AmericansHispanicsAsian American and Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans.

Americans with Disabilities

Nearly a quarter century ago, our Nation passed the Americans with Disabilities Act, a landmark civil rights bill.  The first nation on earth to comprehensively declare equality for its citizens with disabilities; we enshrined into law the promise of equal access, equal opportunity, and equal respect for every American.  Since taking office, President Obama and his Administration have worked to toughen the protections against disability-based discrimination, increase accessibility in our communities, expand employment opportunities and increase financial independence for people with disabilities, especially our wounded warriors and those with serious disabilities. 

In July 2010, President Obama signed an Executive Order, increasing federal employment of individuals with disabilities, and committed the Executive Branch to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in the Federal workforce. 

In his 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama emphasized the vital priority of equipping Americans with the skills needed to realize the economic opportunity that a renewed American economy could provide and set the goal of making America’s workforce and training system “more job-driven, integrated and effective.”  Two days later, he signed a Presidential Memorandum on Job-Driven Training to signal his commitment to supporting programs that more effectively prepare workers, including those with disabilities, for high-growth, high-demand careers. 

On March 24, 2014, the new Section 503 Affirmative Action Regulations became effective and, for the first time, established a 7% utilization goal for individuals with disabilities. The regulations also require increased data collection & record keeping to improve employer accountability. The Administration has also launched the Curb Cuts to the Middle Class Initiative, a cross-agency effort working to increase equal employment opportunities and financial independence for individuals with disabilities.

Additionally, on July 22, 2014, President Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) into law, placing significant new responsibilities on several Cabinet-level agencies for increasing the employment of individuals with disabilities. 

And, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Americans with disabilities now have improved access to greater choices in healthcare and don’t have to worry about being refused coverage because of a pre-existing condition.


Thank You

For your submission