"It is the policy of the Memphis MPO not to exclude, deny, or discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ethnicity, immigration status, sex, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, veteran status, familial or marital status, disability, medical or genetic condition, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal or state law in its hiring or employment practices, or in its admission to, access to, or operations of its programs, services, or activities."
- Memphis MPO Nondiscrimination and Accessibility Statement
As part of its general planning and programming process, the Memphis Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) strives to involve as broad a cross-section of the population and the region as possible. However, the Memphis MPO recognizes that there are certain segments of the community and certain organizations that either have a special interest in transportation or that we have a special obligation to reach out to. As a recipient of federal assistance the Memphis MPO is subject to Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, as amended, and must ensure that no one is discriminated against based on race, color, or national origin.
Additional non-discrimination legislation which the Memphis MPO is subject to, and that has broadened the groups and communities that are protected, includes:
- 1970 Uniform Act
- Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973
- Section 162(a),Federal Aid Highway Act of 1973
- Age Discrimination Act of 1975
- Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987
- Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
- Executive Order 12898: Environmental Justice
- Executive Order 13166: Limited English Proficiency
The Memphis MPO pledges to adhere to and advance the principle of Environmental Justice (EJ) and integrate this concept into the participation process. The policies and programs of the Memphis MPO should also avoid disproportionately negative impacts on minority and low-income populations. Emphasis will be placed on providing equitable distribution of benefits of employment, education and community to traditionally underrepresented communities and protected groups.
The Title VI Report and Limited English Proficiency Plan of the Memphis MPO are prepared every three to four years to document the ongoing Title VI activities pursued by the MPO over the previous four fiscal years. The goal of the Memphis MPO is to comply with all federal, state, and local nondiscrimination regulations and policies.
Title VI Compliance Assessment
Every three years the Civil Rights Office of the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) reviews the Memphis MPO’s Title VI Program to ensure it meets the requirements of Federal law, rules, and regulations, regarding the responsibility and duties of a recipient of federal assistance. The 2021 Title VI Compliance Assessment review by TDOT's Civil Rights Office found the Memphis MPO to be in compliance with Title VI and all applicable nondiscrimination mandates.
Moving forward, in between assessment years the Memphis MPO will submit a “No Change” Affidavit to maintain Title VI Compliance.
Nondiscrimination and Accessibility Legislation
Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act
Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act states that “no person in the United States shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subject to discrimination under any program or activity that is a recipient of federal financial assistance.”
Title VI regulations apply to all organizations (government or not-for-profit) that receive federal funds. The Tennessee and Mississippi Departments of Transportation (TDOT and MDOT) receive federal funds from the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), and distribute these federal funds to MPOs throughout their respective states. As a result, all MPOs and transportation planning activities that are federally funded must comply with Title VI.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990
The Americans with Disabilities Act, which became law in 1990, is the first comprehensive civil rights law passed by U.S. Congress prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities in all areas of public life, including but not limited to; employment, government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation. Title II of the ADA applies to all public entities, regardless of the government entity’s size or receipt of Federal financial assistance.
The aforementioned legislation guides the Memphis MPO’s and its member agencies' efforts to ensure that individuals with disabilities are not denied access to, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity of the Memphis MPO. For more information regarding the Memphis MPO’s efforts to ensure access for people with disabilities, please see the Memphis MPO’s most recent Title VI Report in the link above.
Executive Order 12898: Environmental Justice (EJ)
A 1994 Presidential Executive Order directed every Federal agency to make Environmental Justice (EJ) a part of its mission by identifying and addressing the effects of all programs, policies, and activities on “minority populations and low-income populations.” The MPO’s EJ initiatives will strive to accomplish this by involving the potentially affected public through public involvement. This program consists of MPO staff activities designed to develop partnerships with, and enhance the participation in the transportation planning process, by groups and individuals of “traditionally underserved” communities.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) defines three fundamental EJ principles:
- To avoid, minimize, or mitigate disproportionately high and adverse human health and environmental effects, including social and economic effects, on minority populations and low-income populations.
- To ensure the full and fair participation by all potentially affected communities in the transportation decision making process.
- To prevent the denial of, reduction in, or significant delay in the receipt of benefits by minority and low-income populations.
Executive Order 13166: Limited English Proficiency (LEP)
On August 11, 2000, President William J. (Bill) Clinton signed Executive Order (E.O.) 13166. E.O. 13166 requires any agency receiving federal funding to examine the services it provides, identify any need for services to those with limited English proficiency, and develop and implement a system by which Limited English Proficiency (LEP) persons can meaningfully access those services without unduly burdening the fundamental mission of the agency.
The Memphis MPO is responsible for continual, cooperative, and comprehensive transportation planning in the MPO planning area. This planning process guides the use of federal and state dollars spent on existing and future transportation projects or programs, and the LEP Plan plays an integral role in the process.
Complaint Procedures and Forms
Any individual that believes that they have been subjected to discrimination or retaliation, by any Memphis MPO programs, services, or activities, as prohibited by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and related statutes may file a written complaint.
All written complaints received by the Memphis MPO shall be reviewed immediately by the Memphis MPO’s Title VI Coordinator, Nick Warren, and submitted to the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s (TDOT) Title VI Program Director for processing in accordance with approved State procedures. Additionally, the Shelby County Title VI Coordinator will also be notified to help determine how best to investigate and respond to the claim.
Written complaints may be sent to:
Title VI Coordinator
Memphis Urban Area MPO
125 N. Main Street, Suite 450
Memphis, TN 38103
For any and all inquiries regarding the application of the Memphis MPO’s Title VI Program, and nondiscrimination and accessibility related policies, or to request an accommodation, please contact Nick Warren, at 901-636-7146 or Nick.Warren@memphistn.gov.