HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 4-5-2010
Karen Jackson Sims
(678) 732-2943
For Release
April 5, 2010

Fair Housing Month Celebrated in Historic Civil Rights Center

ATLANTA - In celebration of Fair Housing Month and the initiation of the 2010 National Fair Housing Collegiate Partnership, Clark Atlanta University (CAU) welcomes U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Assistant Secretary, John D. Trasviña, as its keynote speaker on Friday, April 9, at 1 p.m. in the Davage Auditorium. Assistant Secretary Trasviña, in partnership with CAU President Carlton E. Brown and presidents of sister
institutions in the Atlanta University Center will recognize the importance of this historic date and partnership.

The Fair Housing Act was signed into law on April 11, 1968, days after the death of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a graduate of Morehouse College in the Atlanta University Center. This was the first time the nation outlawed housing discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, family status, or national origin. The Act was later
expanded to protect persons living with a disability. To mark this anniversary, HUD designates April as Fair Housing Month to draw public attention to the nation's ongoing effort to combat housing discrimination.

In addition to edifying current and future homeowners, the event also commemorates the 42nd anniversary of Fair Housing Month and the initiation of the 2010 National Fair Housing Collegiate Partnership with the U.S. Department
of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). "It is fitting that Asst. Secretary Trasviña would return to the Atlanta University Center to celebrate and commemorate this important, historic piece of legislation, and CAU is honored to host this event. Even more," said Clark Atlanta University President Carlton E. Brown, "we are particularly
enthusiastic about the educational aspects of our collegiate partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO), as it infuses a crucial stream of
information into our students' academic experiences and, as important, helps cultivate and nurture their collective focus of advocacy and service." During the visit, FHEO representatives will distribute Fair Housing information and
will be available to answer questions in the Bishop Cornelius L. Henderson Student Center, located on CAU's main campus, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

"On Jan.18, Asst. Secretary Trasviña led a 5,000-person march in Nashville commemorating the birth of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr," said HUD, Region IV Acting Deputy Regional Director Karen Jackson Sims. "It is no
coincidence, that we have chosen Clark Atlanta University in the Atlanta University Center - the community in
which he attended college and the site at which his funeral took place, respectively - to celebrate his legacy and ensure that this emerging generation of leaders fully comprehends the Fair Housing legislation, which was signed
into law immediately following his death. More important," said Sims, "Mr. Trasviña hopes to inspire students to
follow Rev. Dr. King's model of change agency and humanist activism."

A graduate of Harvard University and Stanford Law School, Trasviña was nominated by President Barack Obama to
be Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity on April 20, 2009, and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on May 1, 2009. Before joining the Obama Administration, he served as president and general counsel
of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF). There, he led the "law firm for the Latino community" by advancing litigation and public policy in the areas of civil rights, immigration and education, among other issues. Having begun his career as a MALDEF legislative attorney in 1985, he later worked for U.S. Senator
Paul Simon as general counsel and staff director for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution.
In 1997, President Bill Clinton appointed Mr. Trasviña as special counsel for immigration-related unfair employment practices, a position in which he served until 2001. During his service as special counsel, he led the only federal government office devoted solely to immigrant workplace rights and was the highest-ranking Latino attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice. A native of San Francisco, he also taught immigration law at Stanford Law School and was director of the Discrimination Research Center in Berkeley, Calif.

As part of HUD is to create equal housing opportunities for all persons living in America regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability and familial status. To do this, the Office administers federal laws and establishes national policies to ensure that all Americans have equal access to the housing of their choice. For more information, visit Formed in 1988 by the consolidation of two historic institutions, Atlanta University (1865) and Clark College (1869), Clark Atlanta University is the largest of the United Negro College Fund institutions with an enrollment of nearly 4,000 students. Clark Atlanta University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097: Telephone 404-679-4501) to award the Bachelor's, Master's, Specialist and Doctorate degrees. The Carnegie Classification lists CAU as a Research University - High Research Activity. CAU is listed as one of the best southeastern colleges by The Princeton Review and has been selected to the Washington Monthly's 2008 list of
best colleges and universities. National business and consumer publications rank Clark Atlanta high among the best buys in American higher education. For more information, visit or call 1-404-880-8000.


HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to sustaining homeownership; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development ad enforces the nation's
fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at and


Content Archived: May 30, 2012