Press Releases
Press Releases


Jul 02, 2024

New York, NY (July 2, 2024) – ​​Rev. Al Sharpton, President and Founder of the National Action Network, issued the following statement on the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“Today marks one of the most significant moments in this nation’s history – 60 years since President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Almost immediately, it started dismantling the vicious realities of Jim Crow segregation and discrimination, eventually impacting everything from employment, to segregated schools, to restaurants serving everyone and so much more. Six decades ago, that historic legislation began to fulfill this nation’s founding promise: that all are created equal.

As we commemorate this milestone achievement, we are faced with the unfortunate reality that many of our gains and hard-won civil rights are under threat once again. Whether it’s voting rights, access to quality education, reproductive rights, equal opportunity in the workforce, LGBTQ+ rights, or simply put – equality across the board – everything is on the line at this pivotal moment including Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) as illustrated by the case of Fearless Fund – the first case where a company was sued for exercising DEI by giving grants to women of color.

Dozens of states have enacted clever schemes to disenfranchise voters, corporate America is eliminating DEI initiatives, a woman’s right to choose no longer exists in many states, and a radical right-wing Supreme Court is chipping away at much of our progress while shielding a former President with immunity from prosecution.

Today’s anniversary of signage of the Civil Rights Act must serve as a clarion call to protect the sacrifices of the past and continue fighting for the future we wish to achieve. Our children and their children cannot inherit a country with fewer rights than we had. We stand at an inflection point, and what we do here today will determine what kind of society we leave for generations to come.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. It took years of literal blood, sweat and tears to reach that remarkable moment, including the loss of our revered leaders. Sixty years on, we cannot allow the gains of the past to be washed away by those that want nothing more than to revert back to an era where they had greater power and we had fewer rights and protections.

When I founded the National Action Network over 30 years ago, it was in service of continuing Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s work and vision. As he once stated: human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable; every step towards the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering and struggle – the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals. Let us renew our passion and dedication for equality on this 60th anniversary.”

About National Action Network (NAN)

National Action Network is one of the leading civil rights organizations in the Nation with chapters throughout the entire United States. Founded in 1991 by Reverend Al Sharpton, NAN works within the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to promote a modern civil rights agenda that includes the fight for one standard of justice, decency, and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, nationality, or gender.

For more information go to (