2020 Conference Workshops

Below is a list of 2020 Conference Workshops that you can view recordings of. Click into the workshop and follow the link to view a recording. 

**Not all workshop have recordings

Morning Workshops >>

10AM - 11:45AM | DOJ Enforcement of Sexual Harassment in Housing


This workshop will address how the U.S. Department of Justice addresses sexual harassment under the Fair Housing Act, with panelists from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, and Rhode Island discussing investigation and enforcement in their jurisdictions. Presenters: Torey B. Cummings, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Massachusetts Ndidi Moses, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Connecticut Amy Romero, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Rhode Island Jules Torti, Civil Chief, District of Vermont Register Here




10AM - 11:45AM | Fair Housing 101


This workshop offers a comprehensive introduction to federal and state fair housing laws (Massachusetts & neighboring states). (Housing, Race, LGBTQ+, Aging, Disability, Diversity & Inclusion, Policy, Advocacy & Ethics, Religion, Spirituality & Meaning).

Presenters:

H. John Fisher, Way Finders Maureen St. Cyr, Community Legal Aid




10AM - 11:45AM | Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing: Why Local Collaborations Are More Important Than Ever


This workshop will bring together representatives from the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, the Massachusetts Fair Housing Center, Dpict (a graphic facilitation firm) and Alicia Zoeller from the City of Holyoke (invited) to discuss their work on developing an analysis of impediments to fair housing integrating elements of the AFFH rule on behalf of the four core cities of the Pioneer Valley region in Western Massachusetts in 2019-2020. It will also explore how municipalities and civil rights advocates can respond to HUD's recent rescission of the rule that required municipalities to conduct comprehensive analyses of impediments to fair housing. Presenters: Catherine Ratte, Land Use Planner/Manager, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission Meris Bergquist, Executive Director, Massachusetts Fair Housing Center Sita Magnuson, Experience Designer and Educator, Dpict




10AM - 11:45AM | Building the Jail to School Pipeline


How can our community address the unmet potential and educational needs of the many citizens in our region who are currently or formerly incarcerated? Drawing on work being done at Holyoke Community College and across the state, panelists will discuss a new initiative to build viable pathways to two and four-year degrees. Panelists include students who were formerly incarcerated, faculty from Holyoke Community College, and educators with experience in carceral settings. Presenters: Nicole Hendricks, Holyoke Community College Mary Orisich, Holyoke Community College Sonia Mendez, Student at Westfield State University Toni Hager Cummings, Hampden County Sheriff's Department





Afternoon Workshops >>

12PM - 1:45PM | Plenary Session: Keynote Speaker, Chad Dion Lassiter


Chad Dion Lassiter is nationally recognized in the fields of American race relations and violence prevention among African-American males. Mr. Lassiter has worked on race, peace and poverty-related issues in Africa, Canada, Haiti, Israel and Norway and is called upon frequently by media outlets to comment on race relations and violence prevention.




2PM - 4PM | Pandemics, Protests, and Politics: Issues Impacting Voting Rights in 2020


With local, and national elections slated for November, communities are facing both new and ongoing challenges to ensuring fair access to the vote for all of their constituents. The coronavirus, increased political tension, and a social justice awakening are all informing this year's elections. Our panelists help to unpack these issues and their impact on the right to vote both in their communities and nationwide. Presenters: Kelly Moore, ACLU of CT Alex Psilakis, Mass Vote Brandon McGee, State Representative, CT 5th District Moderator: Kristina Mensik, Common Cause Massachusetts




2PM - 4PM | The Housing Crisis and Coronavirus


This workshop will discuss the impact the Coronavirus Pandemic has had on an already existing housing crisis. It will also address how America’s housing crisis originated, even before this global pandemic, and how our local, state, and federal governments can address this crisis moving forward. Some of the questions our panelists hope to answer include: What are tenants to do with many federal and state eviction moratoriums over? What actions can be taken by local and state governments, or, by local grassroots organizations to assist those in need? How can our legal community best represent tenants in need? And what type of advocacy will work best to help provide resources for tenants? Presenters: Alex Cerbo '21, Western New England University School of Law David Leveillee, Rhode Island Legal Services Rose Webster, Springfield No One Leaves Joel Feldman, Heisler, Feldman & McCormick, P.C. Michael J. Doherty, Clerk Magistrate, Western Division Housing Court





Morning Workshops >>

10AM - 11:45AM | DOJ Enforcement of Sexual Harassment in Housing


This workshop will address how the U.S. Department of Justice addresses sexual harassment under the Fair Housing Act, with panelists from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, and Rhode Island discussing investigation and enforcement in their jurisdictions. Presenters: Torey B. Cummings, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Massachusetts Ndidi Moses, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Connecticut Amy Romero, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Rhode Island Jules Torti, Civil Chief, District of Vermont Register Here




10AM - 11:45AM | Fair Housing 101


This workshop offers a comprehensive introduction to federal and state fair housing laws (Massachusetts & neighboring states). (Housing, Race, LGBTQ+, Aging, Disability, Diversity & Inclusion, Policy, Advocacy & Ethics, Religion, Spirituality & Meaning).

Presenters:

H. John Fisher, Way Finders Maureen St. Cyr, Community Legal Aid




10AM - 11:45AM | Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing: Why Local Collaborations Are More Important Than Ever


This workshop will bring together representatives from the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, the Massachusetts Fair Housing Center, Dpict (a graphic facilitation firm) and Alicia Zoeller from the City of Holyoke (invited) to discuss their work on developing an analysis of impediments to fair housing integrating elements of the AFFH rule on behalf of the four core cities of the Pioneer Valley region in Western Massachusetts in 2019-2020. It will also explore how municipalities and civil rights advocates can respond to HUD's recent rescission of the rule that required municipalities to conduct comprehensive analyses of impediments to fair housing. Presenters: Catherine Ratte, Land Use Planner/Manager, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission Meris Bergquist, Executive Director, Massachusetts Fair Housing Center Sita Magnuson, Experience Designer and Educator, Dpict




10AM - 11:45AM | Building the Jail to School Pipeline


How can our community address the unmet potential and educational needs of the many citizens in our region who are currently or formerly incarcerated? Drawing on work being done at Holyoke Community College and across the state, panelists will discuss a new initiative to build viable pathways to two and four-year degrees. Panelists include students who were formerly incarcerated, faculty from Holyoke Community College, and educators with experience in carceral settings. Presenters: Nicole Hendricks, Holyoke Community College Mary Orisich, Holyoke Community College Sonia Mendez, Student at Westfield State University Toni Hager Cummings, Hampden County Sheriff's Department





Afternoon Workshops >>

12PM - 1:45PM | Plenary Session: Keynote Speaker, Chad Dion Lassiter


Chad Dion Lassiter is nationally recognized in the fields of American race relations and violence prevention among African-American males. Mr. Lassiter has worked on race, peace and poverty-related issues in Africa, Canada, Haiti, Israel and Norway and is called upon frequently by media outlets to comment on race relations and violence prevention.




2PM - 4PM | Pandemics, Protests, and Politics: Issues Impacting Voting Rights in 2020


With local, and national elections slated for November, communities are facing both new and ongoing challenges to ensuring fair access to the vote for all of their constituents. The coronavirus, increased political tension, and a social justice awakening are all informing this year's elections. Our panelists help to unpack these issues and their impact on the right to vote both in their communities and nationwide. Presenters: Kelly Moore, ACLU of CT Alex Psilakis, Mass Vote Brandon McGee, State Representative, CT 5th District Moderator: Kristina Mensik, Common Cause Massachusetts




2PM - 4PM | The Housing Crisis and Coronavirus


This workshop will discuss the impact the Coronavirus Pandemic has had on an already existing housing crisis. It will also address how America’s housing crisis originated, even before this global pandemic, and how our local, state, and federal governments can address this crisis moving forward. Some of the questions our panelists hope to answer include: What are tenants to do with many federal and state eviction moratoriums over? What actions can be taken by local and state governments, or, by local grassroots organizations to assist those in need? How can our legal community best represent tenants in need? And what type of advocacy will work best to help provide resources for tenants? Presenters: Alex Cerbo '21, Western New England University School of Law David Leveillee, Rhode Island Legal Services Rose Webster, Springfield No One Leaves Joel Feldman, Heisler, Feldman & McCormick, P.C. Michael J. Doherty, Clerk Magistrate, Western Division Housing Court