2021 Conference Workshops
Tuesday, April 13
9:00AM - 9:45AM | Opening Session: A Conversation on Art and Social Protest between Pops Peterson and Jamie Williamson.
10AM - 11:30AM | Innovative Strategies to Combat Exclusionary Zoning
Erin Boggs, Executive Director; Samuel Giffin, Policy & Data Analyst; and Taniqua Huguley, Outreach Director, of Open Communities Alliance in Hartford, CT, will present the various strategies OCA is using to challenge exclusionary zoning in high opportunity suburbs across Connecticut. OCA's strategies utilize community organizing, creative zoning proposals, and legislative initiatives to create more inclusionary zoning regulations.
12PM -1:30PM | Keynote Speaker, DrT (Tiffany Manuel)
DrT (as she prefers to be called) is a dynamic speaker, best-selling author and the President and CEO of TheCaseMade, an organization dedicated to helping leaders powerfully and intentionally make the case for systems change. In her role at TheCaseMade, DrT works with hundreds of passionate social changemakers, innovators and adaptive leaders around the United States who are building better, stronger communities that are diverse, equitable and inclusive.
By aligning their community stakeholders around the kind of deep systems changes that can improve population outcomes, these leaders are able to grow their impact, scale their programs, and harness the investments they need to improve their communities. She’s literally written the book on public will building – Strategic CaseMaking™: The Field Guide for Building Public and Political Will. Find out why DrT is considered the nation’s expert on public will building!
Dr. T will be introduced by Keith Fairey, President & CEO of Way Finders.
2PM - 3:30PM | Defending Environmental Justice Communities
Communities of color and immigrant communities are at the forefront of the climate and environmental justice movement. This workshop, co-presented by Lawyers for Civil Rights, GreenRoots, Inc. and Alternatives for Community and Environment (ACE) will explore the backdrop of the environmental justice movement, its intersection with access to safe housing, and legal opportunities and challenges moving forward.
Wednesday, April 14
9:15AM - 9:45AM | Opening Session
10AM - 11:30AM | Nursing Homes, Long Term Care Facilities and Human Rights
Headlines over the past year have only served to underscore the fact that too many people who live in facilities that were intended to be supportive of their wellbeing instead find themselves facing living conditions that are substandard - or that sometimes may even prove to be deadly. This panel will seek to explore the challenges facing this often-disenfranchised population and what needs to be done to ensure their safety and wellbeing. Eric Carlson, Directing Attorney (Justice in Aging); Natalie Kean, (Justice in Aging), David Lipschutz, (Center for Medicare Advocacy) and Cinnamon St. John, (Center for Medicare Advocacy).
2PM - 3:30PM | Resources and Trends in Human Trafficking
This panel looks at human trafficking from several different lenses. We will discuss the criminal aspect of human trafficking and the prosecutorial functions of the U.S. Department of Justice. On the civil side, we will examine employment discrimination issues and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will share information about its charge processing and Strategic Enforcement Plan #2 as it relates to protecting immigrant, migrant and vulnerable Workers. Speakers will also provide information about government and public resources that are available to victims. Join us for a dynamic conversation on how we can all work together to combat human trafficking. Speakers include: Nicole Bell, Founder and CEO of Lift Worcester; Alex Grant, Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice; Lauryn Myers,Victim/Witness Specialist, U.S. Department of Justice; and, Kenneth An, Director, U.S., Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
10AM - 11:30AM | Housing Rights for People with a Criminal History
People with a record of incarceration, conviction, and arrest face steep barriers to finding affordable housing, due to screening requirements that - depending on the housing provider - can often end up as a blanket refusal with no consideration of the circumstances of their lives. For this reason, people who have been incarcerated have a 7 to 11 times higher risk of homelessness. This panel will discuss the barriers and impacts that people face along with innovative solutions that are happening around the country and in Massachusetts. Panelists will include housing providers who have tackled this issue, advocates, researchers, and people directly impacted by mass incarceration and its collateral consequences.
12PM - 1:30PM | Keynote Speaker: Deborah Archer
2PM - 3:30PM | Hijabs and Wedding Cakes: A discussion at the intersection of civil rights and religious practices.
Panelists will address the intersection of religion and the protection of civil rights of vulnerable populations in public accommodations, policing and the workplace.
Professor Jennifer Levi will provide an update on Masterpiece Cake Shop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission (2018), where a bakery refused to provide a wedding cake to a gay couple based on the owner’s religious beliefs and preview Fulton v. Philadelphia, a pending Supreme Court case addressing whether faith-based private agencies accepting federal tax dollars can refuse to accept same-sex couples as foster parents.
Civil rights attorney Emma Freeman will address the civil rights implications of Clark v. City of New York, a case where she is representing a class of more than 7000 New York City residents, mostly Muslim women, in a civil rights class action against the NYPD alleging religious discrimination resulting from their being forced to remove religious head coverings while in police custody and for mug shots.
Dr. Marianne Yacobian, a scholar whose research is focused on issues of institutional ethics and anti-Muslimism and Islamophobia, will discuss address the efficacy of EEOC efforts to address embedded biases against religious minorities in the workplace context and examine extra-legal means of creating cultural environments that support respect for all employees.
Professor Jennifer Levi – Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) and faculty Western New England University School of Law, Springfield, Massachusetts
Dr. Marianne Yacobian – Professor of Global Studies, Menlo College, Atherton, California
Attorney Emma Freeman – Emery, Celli, Brinkerholff, Abady, Ward, & Maezel, LLP, New York City
Thursday, April 15
9:15AM - 9:45AM | Opening Session
10AM - 11:30AM | COVID-19: Impacting Women for Years
This session will be a deep-dive discussion into the impact of COVID-19 upon women in the workplace. The dual demands of job, childcare, and other responsibilities are pushing many women at all levels of the organization out of the workforce. Participants will examine and review current research and data about women’s workplace experiences during the pandemic and will discuss strategies and best practices for retaining women in the workforce at levels of the organization.
Katrina Grider (Associate Director, Curriculum, Training and Education, Revolving Funds Division, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
2PM - 3:30PM | The Future of Civil Rights: Tools for Advancing
The focus of the workshop will be an examination of the major trends and issues in fair housing and civil rights today. Participants will not only learn the importance of these issues but why they are strategic for the future of democracy in the United States. This workshop is designed to be informative to any and all participants at the conference but will have significant impact even on those with little civil rights background.
Robert Terrell, Moderator (Boston Housing Authority);
Nadine Cohen (Managing Attorney, Greater Boston Legal Services);
Rahsaan Hall (Director, ACLU of Massachusetts Racial justice Program);
David Harris (Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Racial Justice);
Marvin Martin (Executive Director, Action for Equity).
10AM - 11:30AM | Fair Housing 101
When we speak of fair housing rights, we are drawing on an interplay of federal and state regulations that can vary in their specifics from state to state but still share a common purpose. With primary focus on one state (Massachusetts), this workshop will explore the basics of how federal and state fair housing laws can join together to create an overall pattern of protection.