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Ehrlich, Harriet Joan | University of Houston Libraries

Name: Ehrlich, Harriet Joan

Historical Note:

Harriet Joan Ehrlich was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey on February 12, 1935. She attended Syracuse University where she received a bachelor’s degree in home economics and started her career as a bridal consultant for Bloomingdales Department store. Ehrlich spent her younger years making a name for herself in the civil rights movement before joining the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in Houston. While working as a director of a state enforcement unit in Philadelphia, Ehrlich pushed the local school district to resolve unequal pay for female janitors.

Over the next 24 years, Ehrlich worked tirelessly for the EEOC, becoming director of the Houston office and later the office in San Francisco. She actively spoke to the press, pushed EEOC lawyers to file more and larger cases, and reached out to civil rights leaders, clergy and business leaders. Even while bed ridden Ehrlich continued her work in labor advocacy, convening her staff in a San Francisco hospital room.  Ehrlich died of leukemia at the age of 72.


Houston Chronicle, http://www.chron.com/news/houston-deaths/article/H-Joan-Ehrlich-longtime-worker-advocate-dies-1776151.php

Sources: Houston Chronicle, http://www.chron.com/news/houston-deaths/article/H-Joan-Ehrlich-longtime-worker-advocate-dies-1776151.php
Note Author: Timothy Wyatt

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