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.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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Wednesday, April 14

9:15AM - 9:45AM | Opening Session


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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).

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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.

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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.

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12PM - 1:30PM | Keynote Speaker: Deborah Archer


Deborah N. Archer is the Jacob K. Javits Professor at New York University, and Professor of Clinical Law and Co-Faculty Director of the Center on Race, Inequality at NYU School of Law. Deborah is also the President of the American Civil Liberties Union and a nationally recognized expert in civil rights, civil liberties, and racial justice. She is a graduate of Yale Law School, where she was awarded the Charles G. Albom Prize, and Smith College. She previously worked as an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., where she litigated in the areas of voting rights, employment discrimination, and school desegregation. She was also a member of the faculty at New York Law School for fifteen years and an associate at the firm Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett. Deborah is also a former chair of the American Association of Law School's Section on Civil Rights and Section on Minority Groups. She previously served on the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board, the nation’s oldest and largest police oversight agency, and the 2018 New York City Charter Revision Commission. Deborah received the Otto L. Walter Distinguished Writing Award and the 2014 Haywood Burns/Shanara Guilbert Award from the Northeast People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference. Deborah was recognized by the New York Law Journal as one of New York’s Top Women in the Law. Professor Archer will be introduced by Dean Sudha Setty of the Western New England University School of Law. Register >>




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.

Panelists:

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

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Thursday, April 15

9:15AM - 9:45AM | Opening Session


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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.

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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).

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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.

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12PM - 1:30PM Keynote Speaker: Jeanine Worden


Jeanine Worden is the Acting Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Since joining HUD in 2011, she has been responsible for enforcing the Fair Housing Act, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Before joining HUD, Ms. Worden was a manager in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice where she supervised investigations and litigation and directed the Justice Department’s Project Civic Access initiative to improve state and local government noncompliance with disability rights laws. Before joining the Department of Justice, Ms. Worden worked at a major Washington, D.C. law firm, specializing in civil litigation and advising clients about federal, state and local civil rights laws. She received her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law, masters degrees from Middlebury College and The Johns Hopkins University, and an undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago. She is a member of the Virginia, District of Columbia, and Maryland bars. Register >>





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