Governor Wolf, PHRC and Governor’s Advisory Commission on African-American Affairs Issue Statement on Discrimination in Places of Public Accommodation

Governor Wolf, PHRC, and Governor’s Advisory Commission on African-American Affairs issue statement on discrimination in places of public accommodation

Harrisburg, PA - Governor Tom Wolf, the Governor’s Advisory Commission on African-American Affairs and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission released the following joint statement about acts of discrimination in places of public accommodation: 

We have shared public concerns over recent incidents in Pennsylvania, including the arrest of two Black men at a Philadelphia Starbucks, the treatment of five Black female golf club members at the Grandview Golf Course in Dover, York County, and racial slurs being shouted at a Black student in a Penn State dormitory. 

We are aware of the painful and far-reaching impact of bias, prejudice, and hate on individuals across the commonwealth. We must all be committed to protecting individuals from discrimination. 

Our commonwealth - especially our shared interests of better communities and opportunities for our families - is stronger when we are united and treat each other as equals. We must continue to work to combat discrimination, reject both overt and systemic racism, and bring fairness to our institutions at all levels. 

The commonwealth has strengthened anti-discrimination policies for state employees, visitors to state buildings, and all contractors that do business with the commonwealth. However, we must ensure all commonwealth employers and places of public accommodation are ensuring no one is the subject of discrimination and violators must be held accountable. 

We urge business managers and owners to reflect upon the treatment of individuals who seek to patronize your businesses. Businesses are considered places of public accommodations and are subject to the anti-discrimination provisions of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA). 

The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act guarantees that individuals have the right to obtain all the accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of any public accommodation. If you feel a place of public accommodation has treated you differently because of your race, color, sex or any other protected class status, please visit our website: or call your regional office for more information on filing a complaint. PHRC offers free anti-discrimination training, brochures and other resources for individuals and businesses. See our website for more information about our prevention resources.

Pittsburgh Regional Office         Harrisburg Regional Office                   Philadelphia Regional Office

301 Fifth Avenue                        333 Market Street                                110 North 8th Street
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PHRC Media Contact Details

Amanda Brothman

Communications Director 771-856-5971
Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission Media