NYC human rights panel launches 'While Black' campaign to combat racism
© New York City Commission on Human Rights

The New York City Commission on Human Rights announced Friday the launch of its new “While Black” ad campaign to combat racial discrimination.

The commission gives residents of New York City resources to report discrimination and identifies everyday instances of discrimination.

The “campaign makes it clear that discrimination and harassment against Black New Yorkers - whether they're walking, working, renting, shopping, or driving - is illegal and will not be tolerated in New York City,” the NYC Human Rights wrote on Twitter.

Carmelyn P. Malalis, chairwoman and commissioner of the organization, told The Root that the ad campaign is an effort to encourage more people to report instances of discrimination against them.


“One of the reasons that in this campaign we focus on basic everyday activities — shopping, walking, working, renting, driving—is that it speaks to everyday forms of discrimination that people experience — probably with such regularity that they think ‘why should I report it? Who is going to care?' " Malalis said.

She added that if an individual does report discrimination, “someone is going to do something about it.” 

The Root reported that the commission received 584 race-based complaints, 191 of which were based on color, during fiscal 2018. The figures marked a 20 percent increase in complaints since 2016.

The campaign comes weeks after the commission published landmark legal guidance on racial discrimination and hair in employment and public accommodations for residents.