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Knoxville officials kicked off a year-long celebration of a big milestone in the civil rights movement with a special luncheon.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Friday the city hosted a panel discussion on voting and the impact of the Civil Rights Act on local politics.

Organizers say the Civil Rights Act not only helped minorities, but also influenced many other landmark laws .

"The American Disabilities Act is part of, you can find the footprint of the Civil Rights Law in it. You can find the footprint of the Civil Rights Law in Gender and Equity in Title IX as it pertains to education," said Joshalyn Hunley, Knoxville Title XI and equal opportunity coordinator.

More events to mark the anniversary are planned throughout the year.

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