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Lucy Allen

Presenting The Relationship between Testing and a Charge of Discrimination. (A8)

“An Equal Opportunity Specialist in the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity. She enforces federal anti-discrimination laws in housing, mediates disputes between parties, and investigates emerging civil rights issues. Mrs. Allen enjoyed a 10-year career as a chef prior to earning her J.D from Boston University School of Law. Her experience in kitchens informs her passion for equal access to justice and her devotion to enforcing civil rights."

Matt Allen

Presenting Calling Home Instead of Calling the Police (B5)

“Matt Allen joined the ACLU of Massachusetts in September of 2014, and is now the Field Director. He has worked as a community organizer on a range of issues from economic justice, to campaign finance reform, to homelessness prevention. Prior to joining the ACLU, he was the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance, the group that brought the 2012 medical cannabis initiative to the voters. Before founding the Alliance in 2009, Allen campaigned and lobbied in favor of state policies to increase the availability of substance abuse treatment services. He earned an M.S. in Urban and Regional Policy from Northeastern University in 2013.."

Kenneth An

Presenting Understanding EEOC and the Anti-discrimination Statutes. (A6)

“The Director of the Boston Area Office of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).  Kenneth has sat on several Boards, such as the New England Chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans, and served on the Massachusetts Asian-American Commission and was a member of the White House Initiative on AAPI/Interagency Workgroup for Region One.  Kenneth received his Bachelor’s Degree from Boston University and a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School."

Eric D. Batcho

Presenting The Relationship between Testing and a Charge of Discrimination. (A8)

"An Attorney in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of General Counsel in Boston, Massachusetts. Eric advises the agency on a wide variety of HUD programs and practices fair housing, employment, and administrative law. Prior to joining HUD, Eric received a J.D. from Boston College Law School in 2010 and a Masters in Urban Planning from Harvard University, Graduate School of Design in 2007, where he concentrated his studies on real estate and urban development. Eric’s undergraduate degree is from Bowdoin College. In his free time, Eric enjoys hiking and skiing in New Hampshire’s White Mountains."

Meris Bergquist

Presenting Housing Rights for Survivors of Domestic Violence.  (B1)

“Executive director of the Massachusetts Fair Housing Center.  Ms. Bergquist has extensive experience representing victims of housing discrimination before administrative agencies and in federal and state court. In 2005, she prevailed in a landmark Fair Housing Act case expanding fair housing rights for female victims of domestic violence. She is a frequent guest lecturer at area colleges, and in 2015 she co-taught a course, Property and Inequality, at the Western New England University School of Law. She has written articles on fair housing issues, including a 2018 law review article, “How the Massachusetts Lead Poisoning Prevention and Control Act Codifies Systemic Discrimination Against Families with Children in Violation of the Federal Fair Housing Act.” In 201l, she received the Paul F. Batch, Jr. award from the Stavros Center for exemplary service to Deaf individuals. In 2018, she was a co-recipient of the Martin Luther King, Drum Major Award from the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination."

Caitlyn Byers

Presenting Fair Housing 101 (A1)

“A staff attorney in the housing unit at Community Legal Aid (CLA). She devotes most of her time to fair housing cases through CLA’s Worcester Fair Housing Project, which receives FHIP funding, but also works on eviction cases and administrative cases involving housing subsidies. Before CLA, Caitlyn did fair housing work at the Disability Law Center.”

Matt Cregor

Presenting Calling Home Instead of Calling the Police (B5)

"Matt joined MHLAC in September, 2018, and works on a variety of mental health-related education matters including school discipline, school policing, special education, and disability-based harassment. Before that, Matt served as Education Project Director for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights in Boston and as a staff attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, coordinating the latter's Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline Initiative.  Matt is a former public school teacher, a 2006 graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center, and the 2018 recipient of the Boston Bar Association’s James G. Brooks Legal Services Award. "

Nadine Cohen

The Future of Civil Right  (B8)

"Nadine Cohen is the Managing Attorney of the Consumer Rights Unit at Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS). A major focus of her work has involved fair housing, foreclosure prevention and predatory Lending.  Nadine has been a civil rights lawyer for over 30 years.  Prior to joining GBLS she was senior staff counsel at the Boston Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, where she developed and directed the Committee’s Fair Housing Project and handled numerous individual and class action housing discrimination cases, employment, voting rights, school desegregation, and other civil rights cases, in federal and state courts, and administrative agencies.  She has conducted numerous trainings on housing discrimination law, including predatory lending, and has presented at many national conferences.  Nadine helped found the Fair Housing Center of Greater Boston. "

Kristina da Fonseca

Presenting Section 8 and Discriminatory Obstacles to Renting.  (A3)

"Executive Director of SouthCoast Fair Housing. She founded SCFH in 2012 and has overseen its expansion to serve the state of Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts. Kristina serves on the Board of Directors of Housing Solutions for Southeastern Massachusetts. Kristina earned a J.D. from Western New England University School of Law and an A.B. from Smith College. She is a member of the Rhode Island and Massachusetts Bars."

Sebi Devlin-Foltz

Presenting Improving Outcomes for Economically Disadvantaged Children.  (B4)

“Sebi Devlin-Foltz is a Policy Associate at Opportunity Insights where he works on a range of policy areas geared toward improving economic mobility for low-income families, with a particular focus on housing.  His past work experience includes time as a research assistant at the Federal Reserve Board, and a position in the development department at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. A native of Silver Spring Maryland, he has a BA in economics and international relations from Occidental College, and a Master in Public Affairs from Princeton University focused on economics and public policy.”

Lydia Edwards

Presenting Future of Civil Rights.  (B4)

“Councilor Lydia Edwards has spent her entire career as an advocate, activist, and as a voice on behalf of society's most vulnerable. She served as the deputy director within the Mayor's Office of Housing Stability where she was responsible for developing and delivering innovative solutions to fight displacement and brought together all stakeholders: landlords, management companies, housing authorities, and tenants. Councilor Edwards worked as a public interest attorney with Greater Boston Legal Services. She served as the statewide campaign coordinator for the Massachusetts Coalition for Domestic Workers, which advocated for the passage of the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. In 2015, she received an honorable mention for Bostonian of the Year by the Boston Globe. Councilor Edwards graduated from American University Washington College of Law and received a LLM in taxation from Boston University School of Law. On the Boston City Council, she chairs the Committee on Housing and Community Development.”

H. John Fisher

Presenting Fair Housing 101.  (A1)

“A trainer and resource on fair housing and property management issues for tenants and landlords alike for many years.  His experience in fair housing dates back to the 1960s.  A landlord himself, he is the author of numerous articles and publications on housing rights and fair housing issues, including the Property Management Manual for Massachusetts Rental Owners, which is now in the fourth printing of its sixth edition.  John has worked for the regional housing nonprofit Way Finders in many roles, most recently serving as its Fair Housing Coordinator.  He was a co-recipient of the Martin Luther King, Drum Major Award at the 2018 Fair Housing and Civil Rights Conference. In addition to his housing-related work, he is also the Managing Director for the Foundation for Neurofeedback and Applied Neuroscience.”

Ashley Grant

Presenting Housing Rights for Survivors of Domestic Violence.  (B1)

“Legal Director of the Massachusetts Fair Housing Center (MFHC).  She is a graduate of the City University of New York School of Law and Wesleyan University. After graduating from law school, she served as a law clerk to the Honorable Roanne L. Mann of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Ashley has been with MFHC since 2011. She also served as a member of the adjunct faculty at Western New England University School of Law, where she co-taught a course on Fair Housing.  .”

Allyson Hale

History, Biology, and Inspiration.  (B7)

Through personal tragedy and traumatic events, Allyson gained a new perspective and insight regarding human responses, interactions and reasoning as to why we do and say what we do. With this new knowledge of herself and her expertise with molding and shaping individuals both physically and mentally, she hopes to help others open the door to explore this “knowledge” with themselves and others. 2015 was the start of her own awakening into the individual she needs to be; a translator of simple human decency.

Allyson currently works for the Massachusetts DOC, Souza Baranowski Correctional Center, and serves in the Army Reserves/National Guard (17 years of service). She holds the rank of Sergeant First Class (E-7) and position of Battalion Staff NCO.  She has 30 years of Japanese Jujitsu training and a BA in Sociology from Framingham State University

David Harris

The Future of Civil Rights.  (A8)

“David Harris has extensive experience in many facets of civil rights issues, from police brutality and racial profiling, to redistricting and domestic violence, as well as voting rights, fair housing, community development and justice reform.  Under his leadership, the Houston Institute has created a national platform with its Houston/Marshall Plan for Community Justice, an initiative that seeks to change the way public policy is designed and implemented.  The project is designed to amplify the voices, knowledge and expertise of people living in communities devastated by decades of underdevelopment wrought by the war on crime and war on drugs.”

Sarita Hudson

Healthy Housing: A Fair Housing Issue.  (B6)

“Sarita Hudson is Director of Programs & Development at the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts.  She currently leads the Health Policy Commission funded Shift Healthy Homes Asthma Program,  Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition and the Springfield Healthy Homes Collaborative.  Other responsibilities included leading the asthma work group for the Healthy Holyoke Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund collaborative and engagement for the Springfield Climate Action & Resilience planning process.  Sarita brings over 25 years of experience managing programs, developing coalitions, and building community capacity on issues including sexual violence prevention, women's rights and social justice.  She is a member of the Steering and Healthy Housing Committees of the Massachusetts Asthma Action Partnership, the American Lung Association's Asthma in Adults Leadership Team and Treasurer of the Board of Safe Passage. Sarita holds a Master’s degree from Harvard Divinity School."

Emily Kelliher

Presenting The Relationship between Testing and a Charge of Discrimination. (A8)

“An Equal Opportunity Specialist with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Ms. Kelliher investigates and conciliates claims of discrimination under the Fair Housing Act. Ms. Kelliher received her J.D. from Suffolk University Law School in 2016 and her Bachelors from Northeastern University in 2013. During her time in law school, Ms. Kelliher worked at the Office of Fair Housing and Equity in Boston and interned with the Suffolk Law Housing Discrimination Testing Program. ”

Elizabeth Marcus

Presenting Understanding EEOC and the Anti-discrimination Statutes. (A6)

“Hails from Stamford, Connecticut.  She attended the University of Connecticut, graduating cum laude with a double major in Sociology and Women’s Studies.  She was awarded a juris doctorate from New England Law Boston (formerly New England School of Law), and is a member of the Massachusetts Bar.  Since completing her formal education, Liz has worked exclusively in the area of employment law, initially with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and then with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. ”

Marvin Martin

The Future of Civil Right. (B8)

“Marvin Martin is the Executive Director of Action for Equity, a coalition of community organizations promoting race and class equity through policy and organizing initiatives. Marvin Martin has over 30 years community organizing experience in Baltimore and Boston, particularly on issues such as land usage, housing policy, transportation & environmental justice and public safety. He has also served as the ED of the Greater Four Corners Action Coalition and the Greater Roxbury Neighborhood Authority and had stints at Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, Neighbor to Neighbor and East Baltimore/Midway CDC among others. He is the recipient of many awards, including the Fair Housing Center of Greater Boston  Open Doors Award and fellowships, including the Barr Fellows."

Michael McKnight

Presenting Healthy Housing: A Fair Housing Issue. (B6)

“Michael McKnight is the Vice President of Policy and Innovation at the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) and leads advocacy, policy analysis, and work on innovative financing. He heads up projects around the country that include healthcare payers, healthcare providers, and healthy home providers, utilizing the impact that housing has on health outcomes as a new funding source for home repair services. He has focused on reimbursement for healthy homes interventions from Medicaid and other health care payers and the return on investment of education and environmental control in combating asthma. He enjoys taking the lessons learned on the ground and formulating policy recommendations or identifying best practices to take to scale."

Pops Peterson

Presenting Arts and Civil Rights.  (B2)

“An artist whose “Arts and Civil Rights” lecture is an emotional cascade of photos, video, music and stories of the artists and artworks that have fostered civil rights in American history.  Peterson’s debut performance, first given at the 2016 Fair Housing and Civil Rights Conference, received a standing ovation, as have his sold-out lectures at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.  Peterson delves into the essence of art as a force for social change.  He received an award at the 9th Annual Conference and was named Artist in Residence by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.  Peterson’s own progressive artwork has been widely acclaimed in the community and in national media, including the New York Times and CBS Sunday Morning.”

Pops Peterson

Presenting Arts and Civil Rights.  (B2)

“An artist whose “Arts and Civil Rights” lecture is an emotional cascade of photos, video, music and stories of the artists and artworks that have fostered civil rights in American history.  Peterson’s debut performance, first given at the 2016 Fair Housing and Civil Rights Conference, received a standing ovation, as have his sold-out lectures at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.  Peterson delves into the essence of art as a force for social change.  He received an award at the 9th Annual Conference and was named Artist in Residence by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.  Peterson’s own progressive artwork has been widely acclaimed in the community and in national media, including the New York Times and CBS Sunday Morning.”

Zumalee Rivera

“Zulmalee Rivera is a life long resident of  Springfield, Massachusetts. Born into a family of community activists and leaders, it was only natural that Zulma grew to become a voice for people in her community. Her daughter attended German Gerena Magnet School, where, on their way to school, her daughter and classmates had to traverse tunnels that regularly flooded leaving behind walls covered in mold. Zulma, along with former N2N organizer Jafet Robles and other community leaders, organized their community to address the city and state’s negligence of the health and safety of the children.  Zulma officially joined N2N as campaign manager for the first campaign of Springfield’s City Counselor Adam Gomez. She then joined the Action Fund board as the chair. As the current Springfield Chapter Organizer, Zulma has moved her focus to building power in the Springfield Chapter and beyond.”

Michael Rojas

Presenting Understanding EEOC and the Anti-discrimination Statutes. (A6)

“The New York District Outreach & Education Manager for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). He manages Community Outreach, Media Relations and Employer/HR Technical Training for New York, the 13 northern counties of New Jersey, and all of the New England States. Michael is also the Small Business Liaison which provides assistance to small businesses about the laws enforced by EEOC or about compliance with those laws involving workplace situations and best practices. He began his career in the government at the United States Department of Labor, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs implementing various region-wide programs, including; training, consultation and administrative studies.

 

Michael worked in the private sector as an HR Generalist with duties including; payroll management, budget forecasting, recruiting, policy, guidance implantation and change management. He served in the United States Navy from 2001 – 2006 as a Personnel Specialist and completed 4 tours of duty including support in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He received 2 Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Awards and a Navy Unit Commendation. Michael holds a Bachelors Degree in Workforce Education and Development from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and his Masters in Human Resource Management from Long Island University Brooklyn Campus. ”

Michael Rojas

Presenting Understanding EEOC and the Anti-discrimination Statutes. (A6)

“The New York District Outreach & Education Manager for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). He manages Community Outreach, Media Relations and Employer/HR Technical Training for New York, the 13 northern counties of New Jersey, and all of the New England States. Michael is also the Small Business Liaison which provides assistance to small businesses about the laws enforced by EEOC or about compliance with those laws involving workplace situations and best practices. He began his career in the government at the United States Department of Labor, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs implementing various region-wide programs, including; training, consultation and administrative studies.

 

Michael worked in the private sector as an HR Generalist with duties including; payroll management, budget forecasting, recruiting, policy, guidance implantation and change management. He served in the United States Navy from 2001 – 2006 as a Personnel Specialist and completed 4 tours of duty including support in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He received 2 Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Awards and a Navy Unit Commendation. Michael holds a Bachelors Degree in Workforce Education and Development from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and his Masters in Human Resource Management from Long Island University Brooklyn Campus. ”

Sajid Shahriar

Presenting The Relationship between Testing and a Charge of Discrimination. (A8)

“An Equal Opportunity Specialist at the Boston Regional Office of HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity and a former Presidential Management Fellow (PMF).  Sajid investigates and conciliates complaints filed under the Fair Housing Act. During his time as a PMF, Sajid conducted a six-month rotation at the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, Civil Rights Unit. Sajid graduated from Boston College Law School in 2016. ”

Maureen St. Cyr

Presenting Discrimination against Individuals with Substance Abuse Disorder.  (B5)

“A staff attorney at Community Legal Aid in Worcester, where she focuses primarily on fair housing advocacy and litigation. She has litigated housing discrimination cases at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, in housing court, and the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts. Before joining Community Legal Aid, Ms. St. Cyr clerked for the Vermont Superior Court. During law school, Ms. St. Cyr interned with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, the ACLU of Pennsylvania, and the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law. Ms. St. Cyr is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Queen’s University Belfast, and Kenyon College.”

Maureen St. Cyr

Presenting Discrimination against Individuals with Substance Abuse Disorder.  (B5)

“A staff attorney at Community Legal Aid in Worcester, where she focuses primarily on fair housing advocacy and litigation. She has litigated housing discrimination cases at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, in housing court, and the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts. Before joining Community Legal Aid, Ms. St. Cyr clerked for the Vermont Superior Court. During law school, Ms. St. Cyr interned with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, the ACLU of Pennsylvania, and the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law. Ms. St. Cyr is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Queen’s University Belfast, and Kenyon College.”

Shaitia Spruell

Section 8 and Discriminatory Obstacles to Renting.  (A3)

“A Legal Fellow at SouthCoast Fair Housing. She graduated from Yale Law School in 2018 and was awarded the inaugural Hillary Rodham Clinton Public Interest Fellowship to work on fair housing advocacy issues, with a particular focus on source of income discrimination. Prior to law school, she earned her M.St. in Women's Studies from the University of Oxford. She is a member of the Massachusetts Bar. ”

Claudia Wack

Section 8 and Discriminatory Obstacles to Renting.  (A3)

“A Legal Fellow at SouthCoast Fair Housing. She graduated from Yale Law School in 2018 and was awarded the inaugural Hillary Rodham Clinton Public Interest Fellowship to work on fair housing advocacy issues, with a particular focus on source of income discrimination. Prior to law school, she earned her M.St. in Women's Studies from the University of Oxford. She is a member of the Massachusetts Bar. ”

Claudia Wack

Section 8 and Discriminatory Obstacles to Renting.  (A3)

“A Legal Fellow at SouthCoast Fair Housing. She graduated from Yale Law School in 2018 and was awarded the inaugural Hillary Rodham Clinton Public Interest Fellowship to work on fair housing advocacy issues, with a particular focus on source of income discrimination. Prior to law school, she earned her M.St. in Women's Studies from the University of Oxford. She is a member of the Massachusetts Bar. ”