Commission: Discrimination Still Exists In Ind.

Posted On February 21, 2012

(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Nearly six decades after the U.S. civil rights movement began, discrimination remains a problem in Indiana, according to the Indiana Civil Rights Commission.


On Monday, the commission released its Statewide Perception Survey. The study found that approximately 58 percent of Hoosiers have been discriminated against in their lifetime and more than 88 percent look at discrimination as a problem in their community.


“Despite state and federal legislation, education and the mounting research on the benefits to diversity in neighborhoods, schools and businesses, discrimination still exists,” said Jamal L. Smith, executive director of the ICRC.


The commission’s report cites a lack of understanding and knowledge of civil rights and other anti-discrimination laws. Only 20 percent of the respondents clearly understand their protections under state and federal civil rights laws.


“It is our job to ensure that every Hoosier is aware of their rights and responsibilities under Indiana civil rights laws,” said Smith. “We are more than just a watch dog agency who charges businesses with civil rights violations. Our agency has taken a proactive approach to educating the public to ensure equal opportunities for all Hoosiers.”


The statewide survey was conducted among 912 adults in 67 cities and towns in Indiana from October 21, 2010 to October 20, 2011.


The entire report is available online at http://www.in.gov/icrc/files/Discrimination_Indiana_Results_Survey_Feb2012.pdf.