2020 Press Releases

Statement from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the New York City Commission on Human Rights regarding the FDA Blood Donation Guidelines Revision, April 6, 2020

"The news of the FDA easing its restrictions on blood donation by gay and bisexual men and those who have sex with bisexual men is welcome. This was a policy rooted in bigotry and overcome by science. While there is more to do, it is a step in the right direction and a credit to the advocates who fought for this victory.

The ban on blood donation by gay and bisexual men was enacted in the 1980s under the administration of a president who refused to acknowledge the AIDS crisis as one affecting all Americans, instead blaming one marginalized community and refusing research, testing, and medical resources until it was so widespread as to be uncontainable.

Reducing the required celibacy period from these groups to donate blood from 12 months to 3 months will enable millions more people to donate blood in this time of desperate need. A policy steeped in long-held misconceptions, however, is still a policy in need of reconsideration. Shorter deferral periods should be based on science, accurate testing, and a risk assessment of a person’s sexual activity—not a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

We urge the FDA to adopt a revised policy that eliminates discrimination and allows for as many blood donors as possible in our greatest hour of need."

NYC Commission on Human Rights Issues Statement on the Operations of the Samaritan's Purse Field Hospital in Central Park, March 31, 2020

"The New York City Commission on Human Rights enforces the New York City Human Rights Law, one of the most protective in the nation with over 25 protected classes,” said Carmelyn P. Malalis, Chair and Commissioner of the NYC Commission on Human Rights. “The full force of our law remains in effect and we must continue to uphold our mandate to protect the human rights of all New Yorkers, perhaps now more than ever. We encourage anyone who has been the victim of discrimination in New York City to report to the Commission by dialing 311 and asking for human rights.”

NYC Commission on Human Rights Launches Youth Programming Initiative to Reach 5,000 Students

"Youth leaders are human rights leaders. Today's leaders and tomorrow's young people need to be empowered to stand up for their rights and take action in their communities," said Carmelyn P. Malalis, Chair and Commissioner of the NYC Commission on Human Rights. "The launch of Youth for Equity and Solidarity will allow young people across this city to lead the human rights conversation for the next generation, and become stewards of change to ensure an equitable city for all."

NYC Commission on Human Rights Launches Public Education Campaign to Combat Anti-Semitism and Support Jewish Communities, 02/19/20

“Every New Yorker has the right to practice their religion, celebrate with loved ones, and be who they are proudly and without fear of harassment, discrimination, or violence,” said Carmelyn P. Malalis, Chair and Commissioner of the NYC Commission on Human Rights. “The alarming rate of anti-Semitic incidents in New York City — and the violent attacks in nearby communities like Jersey City, NJ and Monsey, NY— are unacceptable. The NYC Commission on Human Rights rejects anti-Semitism and we are committed to eradicating this bigotry wherever it exists. New York City is a city for all of us. Its strength lies in its diversity, in how we come together to celebrate and look out for one another.”

NYC Commission on Human Rights Settles With Prada Over Merchandise Containing Racist Imagery in Landmark Case Mandating Comprehensive Programs To Combat Anti-Black Racism, 02/05/20

“I am so proud of the work of the NYC Commission on Human Rights on this conciliation agreement,” said Carmelyn P. Malalis, Chair and Comissioner of the New York City Commission on Human Rights. “Every day our staff strive to better the lives of New Yorkers and create lasting impact to strengthen human rights. Today’s conciliation does exactly that – it recognizes the harm of racist iconography, demands accountability from Italy to New York City , and charts a path forward to greater inclusion and respect for Black people. The restorative justice measures required in this settlement may today be considered unconventional for law enforcement, but my hope is that government, here in New York City and Across the country, continue to think outside the box to address and remedy historical and current harms perpetrated through anti-Black racism.”