Announcing Equal Rights Center Leadership Changes


Executive DirectorKate Scott, Deputy Director









October 15, 2019

Dear ERC members, friends and supporters –

On behalf of the Equal Rights Center (ERC) board of directors, I am announcing that our Executive Director, Melvina Ford, will be leaving the ERC at the end of October, and that Kate Scott, the ERC’s Deputy Director, will be stepping in as Interim Executive Director while the board conducts an Executive Director search.

As the ERC’s Board President, I have had the opportunity to work with Melvina for the last five-plus years and to witness her bold vision for using technology to advance civil rights. Under her leadership, the ERC created its first ever apps, the Fair Housing Checklist App and Access A11y, designed to increase housing accessibility and access to public accommodations for people with disabilities. She also helped to lead the charge to ensure that tech companies, like Uber, recognize that they are covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In her tenure, Melvina also expanded the ERC’s online training platform, adding new courses and making those courses available to the general public, effectively increasing the educational resources needed by the business community to comply with civil rights laws. In conjunction with these innovative projects, Melvina exhibited substantial fiscal acumen leaving the ERC in a strong financial position, ready and able to continue its critical work advancing civil rights in these remarkable times.

On October 31st, Melvina will be handing over leadership of the ERC to Kate, who joined the ERC team in 2015 as the Director of Fair Housing, and was promoted to Deputy Director in 2017. In Kate’s time with the ERC, she has conceptualized, developed and produced systemic investigations and consequent reports, including Unlocking Discrimination, Next Generation Segregation, From Click to Visit, and Behind Closed Doors. She has also been vital in the organization’s involvement in key pieces of impact litigation, including cases against Lenkin and MAA. The Board is thrilled that someone with Kate’s deep  program experience and knowledge of our organization has agreed to step in while we search for Melvina’s permanent successor.

Please join me and the ERC Board in thanking Melvina for her service and wishing her much success as she embarks on her next chapter.  We know that she will continue to lead in the advancement of civil rights, and that the ERC will be in very capable hands with Kate during this important time of transition.


Robert Dinerstein

ERC Board President



The Equal Rights Center (ERC)—a national non-profit organization — is a civil rights organization that identifies and seeks to eliminate unlawful and unfair discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations in its home community of Greater Washington DC and nationwide. The ERC’s core strategy for identifying unlawful and unfair discrimination is civil rights testing. When the ERC identifies discrimination, it seeks to eliminate it through the use of testing data to educate the public and business community, support policy advocacy, conduct compliance testing and training, and, if necessary, take enforcement action. For more information, please visit

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