September 16, 2021

By Betti Halsell

Contributing Writer 


On Monday, September 13, 2021 marks a monumental day in the history of Los Angeles. Attorney and Executive Director of the Civil and Human Rights Department, Capri Maddox, has cut the ribbon to the newly established building looking to house the first racial equity branch of local government in the Los Angeles City Mall arena. 

Attorney Maddox stated with much joy, “This office is a testament to the struggle for civil and human rights in Los Angeles,” she continued, “From the portraits of civil rights icons that greet you as you walk in, to the state-of-the-art workspaces for discrimination investigators, to our John Lewis Conference Center, where community groups will meet and carry the work forward--every inch of this office is built for meaningful change. The L.A. Civil Rights office will deliver justice and pursue equity in Los Angeles for generations to come.”

Showing their support during the grand opening were Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas. 

The Los Angeles City Mayor stated, “Everyone in L.A. deserves to be treated with dignity and to be protected from discrimination -- and those values are at the center of everything we do at City Hall,” Garcetti continued, “Capri is an outstanding leader, and this new space provides LA Civil Rights with even greater opportunities to pursue justice and work to improve the lives of all Angelenos.”

Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas stated, “As leaders of a city as diverse as Los Angeles, it is our responsibility to ensure that our most underserved communities have equal access to services, resources, and opportunities.” 

Ridley-Thomas continued, “That is why I am committed to advancing an agenda that puts equity at the forefront,” said the Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas. “The launch of this department could not have come at a better moment. This is precisely what we need to assist in addressing systemic racism. It's time to get to work.”

The newly designed office complex includes an open workspace, meeting rooms, and storage space for dozens of employees. The John Lewis Conference Center is a gathering space with the capacity to hold over 50 people and holds “teleconferencing capabilities,” according to the immediate press release, the Human Relations Commission, Commission on the Status of Women, Commission on Civil Rights, Reparations Commission and Transgender Advisory Council will look to utilize that room. 

As previously reported, Capri Maddox is leading a frontier into a new sense of equality within Los Angeles. As the first executive director of the newly developed Civil and Human Rights Department, she is cultivating a stronger resource to be available for underserved communities.

Maddox is known for her dedication and putting her life energy into carrying out works that benefit communities, generally for those who have not seen the support they need. She is determined to provide channels for the entire city to thrive on. 

Within her position as former senior advisor to City Attorney Mike Feuer, Maddox directed initiatives such as the City Attorney Business Support Program and attorney recruitment and outreach efforts. She designed the blueprints for a Foster Care Diversion Program and oversaw the City Attorney Faith-Based Council.

The mission behind the Civil and Human Rights Department is “Protecting Angelenos and anyone who works or visits the City of Los Angeles from discrimination that denies equal treatment in private employment, housing, education, or commerce.” 

Maddox has always faced these challenges within the community head-on.  investigation and enforcement of the LA Civil and Human Rights ordinance are looking to be a cornerstone in bringing change within the city and not a moment too soon. The need for unity overtook a part of the ceremony as demonstrators verbalized their concerns during the grand opening. 

Maddox is devoted to this cause with every fiber of her being, she has gone on record previously stating, “My role is important for a few reasons; we have systemically been mistreated, underrepresented, disrespected in so many ways. I know the focus is related to perhaps things happening in law enforcement, but some of the systemic issues are affecting us in our lives, in our health, in our education systems, and our opportunities.” 


She continued, “The damage is for generations to come.” Attorney Maddox continued to explain that we need to step up and address those disparities.

She broke down how deep-rooted and entangled the inequalities are within communities of color.”

The principles that the organization is looking to stand on include education and addressing the root of the issue, confronting and exposing the disparities, and carrying out affirmative action that results in meaningful change.

Maddox noted in a prior interview with the Los Angeles Sentinel, “We have to expose this type of behavior because people are focusing on one area in the front of the house, and the back of the house is being robbed blind.”

She emphasized that as a community, there is no room for imbalance. 

The newly established Civil and Human Rights Department building is located at 200 N. Spring Street, Los Angeles, California. The front of the department faces the community and has an inviting design, letting people know that change is coming, and it's taking place at this moment with the help of everyone in the community. 

Find out more about the progression of L.A., by visiting the Civil and Human Rights and Equity Department Website. Follow them on their social media platform, @Lacivilrights.

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