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Cari Dominguez: 1949—: EEOC Chair - Nominated For Eeoc Chair

discrimination press look barriers


In 1999 Dominguez launched her own consulting firm, Dominguez & Associates. But two years later, President George W. Bush called her back to government service, nominating her for the position of EEOC chair on May 10, 2001. Confirmed unanimously that July, Dominquez was sworn in a month later for a five year term. According to an EEOC press release reporting her confirmation, Dominguez stated that the EEOC's mission "captures the promise of America and the mandate of our times: that no worker be left behind for reasons as wasteful and abhorrent as prejudice and discrimination."

That sentiment was soon put to the test, as the attack on the World Trade Center of September 11, 2001, caused a backlash against Arab-Americans, Muslims, and Sikhs. Following the tragedy, discrimination complaints of this type rose so high the EEOC was forced to instigate a new classification for such report statistics. In and EEOC press release Dominguez commented on this racial backlash, urging employers to remain alert to discrimination. She noted, "Preventing and prohibiting injustice against our fellow workers is one way to fight back, if only symbolically, against the evil forces that assaulted our workplaces."

In addition to fighting all workplace discrimination, Dominguez was expanding the Glass Ceiling Initiative work she had begun while at the Labor Department. The expansion, dubbed the Freedom to Compete Initiative, aimed at the root of barriers to workplace advancement. The struggle to uphold America's laws regarding civil rights must focus on underlying beliefs about culture. The task is to identify and understand these barriers in order to remove them permanently. To help spread the word, the EEOC did a series of Public Service Announcements starring Olympic athletes. "We want to increase the knowledge base and heighten awareness," Dominguez told the Call and Post newspaper.

Dominguez believed that cooperation, and not confrontation, is the key to successfully combating methodical discrimination. She told the Call and Post, "We have a responsibility to look at the trends, and use the resources of the commission to look at patterns and practices" in order to identify and prevent problems ahead of time, rather than confronting the issues after the fact. In a March of 2002 address to the Society for Human Resource Management, reported by Hispanic Journal, Dominguez stated, "There is a role for litigation once the harm is done, but there is a greater calling if we can prevent the discrimination from happening in the first place."


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