New IAM Video Celebrates Civil Rights and Healthcare

Many U.S. hospitals were forced to change the way they provide healthcare after the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The landmark legislation outlawed discrimination, unequal voting rights, and racial segregation in schools, workplaces and public facilities including hospitals.

As the nation marks the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, a new Machinists News Network video shows how the landmark legislation ended segregation in U.S. healthcare.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently celebrated the historic occasion with a daylong event entitled “From Segregation to Integration.”

Click here to watch “Celebrating Civil Rights History and Healthcare.”

“It is less well known that hospitals were segregated,” said Leon Rodriguez, HHS Civil Rights Director. “Wards were segregated. It is less well known that even the blood supply, in that period, was segregated.”

“There was unequal resource allocation between black and white facilities,” said John Wodatch, a former Department of Justice civil servant who crisscrossed the country enforcing Title Six, a section of the Civil Rights Act that bars federal funding of segregated agencies. “Because of this, there was a diminished kind of healthcare for African Americans.”

Wodatch shared stories of the stark differences between black and white healthcare and his many investigations into hospitals and facilities that refused to uphold the law.

For more information, watch “Celebrating Civil Rights History and Healthcare” by clicking here.