Harrisburg – Chairman Gerald S. Robinson today
announced that U.S. Bankruptcy Court Eastern District trustees have distributed
$65,000 from the settlement of a July 2009 racial discrimination complaint to
six Philadelphia-area organizations serving minority children.
Each of the
six organizations ─ Boys and Girls Clubs of Philadelphia, Camp Sojourner,
Fellowship Farm, Police Athletic League of Philadelphia, Youth United for
Change and Urban League of Philadelphia ─ received $10,833 for
programming that benefits minority youth and combats discrimination.
will not only provide enrichment opportunities to underprivileged minorities,
it represents justice for wronged children,” Robinson said. “Every child in
Pennsylvania, regardless of race, has a right to an equal opportunity to enjoy
public places like restaurants, theaters and swimming pools.
celebrate anniversaries of Freedom Summer and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, we
cannot forget the tremendous costs of the rights we enjoy today,” Robinson
said. “The Pa. Human Relations Commission is dedicated to working toward a day
when everyone recognizes these rights and no one denies them to others.
like these six groups are our partners in promoting equal opportunity. Their
work helps level the playing field for children who lack the competitive
advantage that comes with privilege.”
were set aside in a settlement of a July 2009 racial discrimination complaint
filed by Northeast Philadelphia’s Creative Steps Daycare against The Valley
Club of Huntington Valley, in Lower Moreland, Montgomery County. The
parties to the settlement recommended the organizations.
complaint alleged that the swim club revoked memberships of the day care’s 65
minority children based on their race. The private club was a commercial
property, as well as a public accommodation under Pa. nondiscrimination law,
because it solicits members from the general public.
2009, the commission’s investigation found probable cause to support the
allegations, after determining that club members made racially derogatory
comments about the children within earshot of witnesses. The club’s defense,
that their actions were based on safety concerns, was contrary to the finding
that the club knew how many children to expect and regularly hosted similar
numbers of non-minorities.
commission does not make investigation findings public. However, this case
received substantial public attention at the outset, and the daycare center
announced the findings at a press conference.
findings were announced, the case failed to settle and the commission planned
to hold a public hearing. The parties subsequently settled and the club filed
Bankruptcy Court Eastern District officials will distribute the balance of more
than $1 million to the children who were parties to the complaint, minus court
costs and attorney fees.
about discrimination and equal opportunity at www.phrc.state.pa.us.
Powers, PHRC, 717-783-8266
Attached is a photo of a Fellowship Farm Youth Leadership Development Retreat
held earlier this year. The photo illustrates some of the work settlement money