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Recreational Boating Safety Grant Program

Overview of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Title VI, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq., was enacted as part of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. It prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. As President John F. Kennedy said in 1963, simple justice requires that public funds, to which all taxpayers of all races [colors, and national origins] contribute, not be spent in any fashion which encourages, entrenches, subsidizes or results in racial [color or national origin] discrimination.

If a recipient of federal assistance is found to have discriminated and voluntary compliance cannot be achieved, the federal agency providing the assistance should either initiate fund termination proceedings or refer the matter to the Department of Justice for appropriate legal action. Aggrieved individuals may file administrative complaints with the federal agency that provides funds to a recipient, or the individuals may file suit for appropriate relief in federal court. Title VI itself prohibits intentional discrimination. However, most funding agencies have regulations implementing Title VI that prohibit recipient practices that have the effect of discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin.

To assist federal agencies that provide financial assistance, the wide variety of recipients that receive such assistance, and the actual and potential beneficiaries of programs receiving federal assistance, the U.S. Department of Justice has published a Title VI Legal Manual. The Title VI Legal Manual sets out Title VI legal principles and standards. Additionally, the Department has published an Investigation Procedures Manual to give practical advice on how to investigate Title VI complaints. Also available on the Coordination and Review Website are a host of other materials that may be helpful to those interested in ensuring effective enforcement of Title VI.

Recreational Boating Safety Grant Complaint

The Civil Rights Directorate and Civil Liberties, Department of Homeland Security, ensures that all federally-assisted and federally-conducted programs or activities of the Department comply with the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended; and related Executive Orders.  While not required, please provide the information listed below to better enable the Department to address complaints of discrimination based upon race, color, national origin, disability, gender and age that involve a recreational safe boating program that receives grant funding through the Coast Guard. 

You may send the information via e-mail to or print a copy and mail it to: Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 245 Murray Lane SW, Building 410, Mail Stop #0191 Washington, DC 20528-0191.  You may also call (202) 254-8200, Toll Free: 1-866-644-8360 or TTY: 202-254-8250.  Other options include Fax: (202) 254-8240 or by email: You may also seek assistance from Coast Guard Civil Rights Directorate by writing to: Commandant (CG-00H), Civil Rights Directorate, Chief, Office of Civil Rights Policy, Planning and Resources, 2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave, SE, Washington, DC 20593-7000 or calling (202) 372-4502.