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May 31, 2021
On Memorial Day, our Nation unites in remembrance of the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces who gave their lives to defend our freedoms. Those who have fallen in defense of our country have earned an honor that must be recognized by both our words and our deeds.
At the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, we have a deep and abiding commitment to protecting the civil rights of all servicemembers, veterans, and their families. We investigate potential violations of federal law and bring lawsuits to protect the employment, disability, voting, and financial rights of servicemembers and their families. In addition, our Servicemembers and Veterans Initiative works every day to ensure that servicemembers, veterans, and their families receive the full benefit of the laws designed to protect them, through outreach, policy development, and interagency coordination. On this Memorial Day, the Civil Rights Division commits to continuing this important work. 
To learn more about the Civil Rights Division’s work in support of the military community, please visit
Servicemembers Initiative
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Servicemembers and Veterans Initiative Women’s History Month 2021 Statement
March 31, 2021
In recognition of Women’s History Month, the Servicemembers and Veterans Initiative of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division reflects on and honors the accomplishments that women have made, and continue to make, to our Nation’s Armed Forces. Starting with the Revolutionary War, women have served our country’s military as soldiers, intelligence officers, nurses, engineers, and pilots, among many other positions. Today, more than 224,000 women serve in the active-duty military; women...
The Servicemembers and Veterans Initiative Honors Contributions of African-Americans to the Armed Forces During Black History Month
February 26, 2021
Each year, Black History Month gives us the opportunity to reflect on and appreciate the contributions that African-Americans have made in all aspects of our Nation’s history, including within the armed services. Many have valiantly volunteered their lives to protect the freedoms of the citizens of a country that has not always provided them with those same freedoms. African-Americans have contributed to military life throughout the entirety of American history, serving in every conflict since the Nation’s inception. As of 2015, African-Americans made up 17% of active duty military members, more than their 13% share of the U.S. population. Many consider the first casualty of the Revolutionary War to be Crispus Attucks, a Black man shot during the Boston Massacre while protesting British oppression. During the Civil War, Harriet Tubman served as a spy for the Union Army and led troops in combat, in addition to her role helping hundreds escape slavery through the Underground Railroad. And, most recently, on January 22, 2021, Secretary Lloyd Austin became the first African-American to lead the Department of Defense.
Servicemembers and Veterans Initiative Pride Month 2021 Statement
June 25, 2021
In recognition of Pride Month, the Servicemembers and Veterans Initiative (SVI) of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division recognizes the contributions and sacrifices the LGBTQI+ community has made in service to the United States through its Armed Forces. These Americans have faced historic and significant barriers to serving openly in our military, yet they currently serve at rates greater than their share of the U.S. population. [1] [1] Rand - 2015 Health Related Behaviors Survey Sexual Orientation, Transgender Identity, and Health Among U.S. Active-Duty Service Members -
How state courts can prevent a housing and eviction crisis
July 30, 2021
Courtesy of Vanita Gupta, Associate Attorney General
A housing and evictions crisis is looming. As federal and local eviction moratoria expire in the coming days, eviction filings are expected to spike. Women and people of color will be disproportionately impacted as they comprise an outsized share of the over 6 million renter households that are behind on rent. Historical and structural inequities will deepen unless we act.
Updated May 31, 2021
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