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Office of Equal Opportunity Announces
2014 Fair Housing Student Poster and Essay Winners

In celebration of April being Fair Housing Month, the Palm Beach County Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO), the Realtors® Association of the Palm Beaches (RAPB) and the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County (LAS) announce the winners of their annual poster and essay contest. This year’s theme recognizes the 46th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and is titled “Fair Housing: One World, One Neighborhood.”

The goal is to raise public awareness of enactment of the federal Fair Housing Law, Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, familial status, disability, national origin, and gender, and to encourage fair housing opportunities for all citizens. In addition, Palm Beach County’s Fair Housing Ordinance prohibits discrimination based upon sexual orientation, age, marital status and gender identity or expression.

The following poster and essay winners were chosen:

Elementary School Poster Contest Winners:
First Place - $100 gift card:            De’Ashja Hanna, Glade View Elementary School  (5th grade)
Second Place - $50 gift card:        Naalia Rajkumar, Elbridge Gale Elementary School  (4th grade)
Third Place - $25 gift card:             Sandy Tola, Jerry Thomas Elementary School (5th grade)

Middle School Poster Contest Winners - Lantana Middle School:
First Place - $100 gift card:            Marcy Noel (6th grade)
Second Place - $50 gift card:        Rose Jacques (7th grade)
Third Place - $25 gift card:             Dorcas Morency (6th grade)

Middle School Essay Contest Winners:
First Place - $100 gift card:            Haley Hoffman, Western Pines Middle School
Second Place - $50 gift card:        Bernice Rachel Petit, Jeaga Middle School
Third Place - $25 gift card:             Amy James, Western Pines Middle School

The winners will receive prizes at a reception on April 9, 2014 at the Realtors® Association of the Palm Beaches’ offices, 1 Harvard Circle, Ste. 102, West Palm Beach, Florida.

 

The Office of Equal Opportunity's (OEO) mission is to promote a discrimination free quality of life for Palm Beach County residents through educating and advocating a policy of nondiscrimination and enforcing local, state and federal civil rights laws.

OEO is responsible for investigating and resolving complaints of discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status or gender identity or expression. Additionally, OEO provides human relations training and referral services. OEO is a federally recognized equivalent agency under the federal civil rights laws - Title VII (employment discrimination cases) and Title VIII (fair housing cases). Through OEO, Palm Beach County residents have direct access to protection of civil rights laws.

OEO also is responsible for the County's Disability Accessibility program. This program assures that County government and countywide organizations and public facilities maintain compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act by enforcing the County's Handicapped Parking Program and helps to remedy discrimination against persons with disabilities in housing, access to facilities and services, employment and all other areas of equal access.

The Human Relations Camp program is administered by OEO in conjunction with the School District of Palm Beach County. The program is designed to promote interracial and intercultural understanding among students by providing training in human relations, leadership and communication skills. Weekend retreats are utilized and provide an excellent framework for achieving interracial and intercultural understanding among high-school students from varied backgrounds. Program exercises, facilitated by a team of adult and junior counselors from varied racial and ethnic backgrounds, stress human relations, cooperation, leadership and decision making skills. The students are recruited from the public school system or may be referred by parents or community groups. An effort is made to ensure a diverse representation of racial, religious, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.

 

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