Kenneth Saunders - Director of Human Rights and Equity Programs
As Director, I would like to welcome you to the Fairfax County Office of Human Rights and Equity Programs (OHREP). This site serves as a source of information as well as a point of contact for all people who are in need of OHREP's services or those who wish to learn more about our work.
The Fairfax County Office of Human Rights and Equity Programs is the County agency charged with enforcing the County's Human Rights Ordinance, which bans discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, education and credit-related services. As the civil rights law enforcement agency of Fairfax County, we work to protect people from discrimination based on race, gender, age, national origin, color, religion, marital status and disability. We also protect families who may face discrimination in housing because they have children (familial status).
In July 1974, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors adopted the Human Rights Ordinance, establishing the Human Rights Commission (members and charter). Our aim is to end discrimination, a goal that we believe to be within our reach. However, in order to obtain our objective, we need your assistance and the support and strength of partners across Fairfax County.
At OHREP, we carry out our duties in the following ways:
- Investigation and Enforcement of civil rights complaints
- Mediation and Conciliation of civil rights complaints
- Research, Education, Outreach and Communication on civil rights matters
For many years, I have been privileged to work side-by-side with many civil rights pioneers throughout the nation who have helped establish, sustain and expand the advancement of human rights for all. Today, I am privileged to work with dedicated commissioners and staff of Fairfax County who labor diligently to protect the civil rights of all people. Fairfax County is a county with a rich history in the arena of civil and human rights; indeed, we have made great strides these last 40 years. While much work remains, we can all be proud of our County as a leader in civil rights.
Please accept my invitation to use this website as a resource to learn more about the important work of the Fairfax County Office of Human Rights and Equity Programs. We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at our offices and events. By working together, Fairfax County will continue to be a place that we are all proud to call home.
My best regards,
Kenneth L. Saunders, Director
Kenneth Saunders currently serves as Director of the Fairfax County Office of Human Rights and Equity Programs. Previously, Saunders served as EEO/Diversity Officer for Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHUAPL). Prior to joining JHUAPL, Saunders was Director for the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights (OHR), where he oversaw the operation of the District's agency for the enforcement of civil and human rights in the nation's capitol. At the OHR, Saunders partnered with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to begin the first Fair Housing Academy. In this setting, human rights workers from across the country learned the latest case law and policies to help them accomplish their agencies' missions. In addition, he worked to ensure that human rights information was shared through community outreach venues, such as the District of Columbia Hate Crimes Task Force. Past positions include serving as Executive Director of the Greater Shreveport Human Relations Commission and as EEO officer and legal counsel at the Community Relations Commission in Columbus, Ohio. Prior to his work with the Community Relations Commission, Saunders was in private legal practice. Saunders is a graduate of Wilberforce University and received his Juris Doctor from the Ohio State University College of Law.