MLK’s Lasting Impact

As the New Year begins, America celebrates and honors a culture that is engrained in the foundations of our country. Beginning with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on January 15, we memorialized a man whose activism and involvement in the civil rights movement transformed the rights and lives of black Americans across the U.S. Without Dr. King, the civil rights movement would not have led to the dramatic transformation of laws and benefits designed to provide equal treatment to black Americans. These laws include the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Voting Rights Act of 1965, and many more. Additionally, in February, we observe Black History Month, which celebrates the achievements and contributions of African Americans.

Through Benefits.gov, many Government agencies offer programs to support black Americans. Some programs exist to protect minority groups from discrimination or disadvantages that may occur in the workplace, at school, or through other institutions. Other programs exist to support the advancement of African Americans to further their opportunities and growth.

For college-bound residents of Washington, D.C., the D.C. Tuition Assistance Grant provides grants to students with out-of-state tuition. There is a series of eligibility criteria that determines who can apply for the program, including U.S. citizenship, D.C. residency, academic standing, and others. Students are encouraged to visit Benefits.gov if they are interested in applying.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides a Fair Housing Initiatives Program – Private Enforcement Initiative to ensure that organizations develop, implement, or coordinate programs or activities to obtain enforcement of the rights granted by the Fair Housing Act or by equivalent state and local fair housing law. This program exists so that minorities do not experience discrimination when searching for housing or buying a home.

Along with the programs discussed above, we invite you to learn more about assistance programs and other initiatives for equal opportunities on the Benefits.gov Housing category or at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission website.

Housing