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Our Story and Mission

“It’s time for a change. Time for change in Los Angeles and everywhere.”- LA Civil Rights Executive Director Capri Maddox, June 5, 2020


“Our mission is to maintain and strengthen the city's diversity, equity, and accountability. We are focused on reducing bias and injustices while leveling the playing field through community engagement, equity initiatives, and upward mobility programming.”

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass and the staff of LA Civil Rights


LA Civil Rights was born out of shoes hitting the pavement and workers getting organized. 

Watch the Story of LA Civil Rights featuring Black Worker Center and IDEPSCA.

The #LocalEnforcementNow campaign led by the Los Angeles Black Worker Center spent years holding rallies, engaging city leaders and mobilizing everyday Angelenos to demand that the City of Los Angeles do more to stop discrimination in the private sector. The result was the Civil and Human Rights Law passed by the City Council in 2019. 

This law prohibits discrimination in the private sector areas of commerce, education, employment and housing. It also allows for local enforcement of this law, so that Angelenos wouldn’t have to wait, sometimes for years, to have a discrimination case resolved at the state or federal level. For the first time, Angelenos would have a local organization protecting their civil and human rights.

But we didn’t stop there. 

In creating the city organization that would enforce the Civil and Human Rights Law, city and community leaders recognized the deep inequities that generations of discrimination had caused. It was clear that the city of Los Angeles not only needed a department that would address discrimination, but that could also empower, amplify, and lift up underserved communities. This new department could also act as a gathering place for the commissions, community-based organizations and other entities working to advance human rights and civil rights in Los Angeles.

The Civil + Human Rights and Equity Department - also known as LA Civil Rights - was born.

LA Civil Rights and its first Executive Director, Capri Maddox, were announced on June 5, 2020. The department was formally established by the City Council in December of 2020.


Click here to read our 2022-2027 Strategic Plan.