On April 11, 1968—seven days after the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.—President Lyndon Johnson signed into law Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, commonly known as the Fair Housing Act. The legislation was co-sponsored by then-Senators Edward Brooke and Walter Mondale and advanced an ambitious and progressive vision: to eliminate housing discrimination and residential segregation in this country. As envisioned, the Fair Housing Act is an important tool for achieving both justice and equity. In signing the bill, President Johnson proclaimed: “At long last, fair housing for all is now a part of the American way of life. We have come some of the way—not near all of it.
The year 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Fair Housing Act, as well as the 30th anniversary of the creation of the National Fair Housing Alliance. As the nation’s leading fair housing advocacy organization, NFHA is uniquely positioned to plan and lead the 50th Anniversary activities. Far more than a celebration, the year-long commemoration will move us closer to being a nation where fair housing and opportunity are the norm in all communities.
Fair housing is not just an important tool for eliminating discrimination; it also helps to strengthen families, communities, businesses, and our overall economy. Fulfillment of the letter and spirit of the law means that every community can be a place of opportunity where people can live in diverse, inclusive, accessible neighborhoods with quality schools, healthy foods, meaningful jobs, health care, green spaces, quality credit, and the other opportunities that frame and affect our lives.
For all of 2018 across the country we will be engaging communities in conversations and facilitating action to both celebrate the 50 Year Anniversary of The Fair Housing Act and empower inform around fair housing. Films, photo exhibits, forums, poetry slams, and more make up our year long celebration!
The 50 Stories Short Film Contest is a competition to develop powerful, creative, well-developed short stories about 50 people whose lives were positively impacted by the Fair Housing Act. From survivors of domestic violence to homeowners coming together to fight redlining practices, these stories will illustrate how fair housing principles can empower people, support families, strengthen communities and help businesses grow.