The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Meeting of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
"Employment Discrimination in the Aftermath of September 11"
December 11, 2001

Remarks of Commissioner Paul Steven Miller

Thank you Chair Dominguez. I want to welcome you, our new Legal Counsel David Frank, our incoming Director of Communications and Legislative Affairs, Ann Colgrove, and all of their respective staffs to the Commission. You have been faced with tremendous challenges in your first months as Chair, and you and your team have risen to the occasion. You have demonstrated great leadership and compassion during these challenges: qualities and skills that will serve this Commission well in the future. I look forward to working with you and your team over the next several years.

I also want to congratulate the Chair for holding this Commission meeting on this vital topic. As you and the Vice Chair so eloquently articulated, these are important issues which deserve the focus and attention of the Nation and of this agency both at this meeting and in the work we must do as we go forward.

The events of September 11th shook this nation and this agency in particular to their cores. While our New York EEOC office was destroyed, I am especially grateful that all of our employees escaped unharmed. Both the nation and the employees of the EEOC have responded admirably.

Unfortunately, there have been those who, in the midst of a national crisis, have allowed their bigotry and hate to dictate their actions. Such stereotyping is particularly appalling and sinister as it corrupts the very values that are at the core of who we are as a people and as a nation.

I want to extend a warm welcome to our guests who have joined us today to share their perspectives on discrimination in the workplace. I look forward with great interest to hearing your testimony, and I look forward to our dialogue this afternoon.

While the EEOC has responded creatively and aggressively to our changed environment, I am interested in learning from our panelists what else needs to be done, what are the gaps in our response and in our enforcement, and where do we go from here? How can we be helpful to both the employer and worker communities? Some parts of the country have especially large communities of Arab-Americans and Moslems, how are our offices in these areas responding? Where, if any, should we place a geographic focus? Are there further instructions or directions we need to communicate to offices?

Again, I welcome all of our guests here today, and I look forward to hearing ways in which the EEOC can better address the issue of discrimination in the workplace on the part of Arab-Americans and Moslems.

Thank you.

This page was last modified on December 12, 2001.

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