Attend workshops, panel discussions, and meet leaders from Federal and state agencies and organizations from across the Northeast, including: The EEOC, HUD, DOJ, FBI, MCAD, MA AGO, MA Office on Disability (MOD), New England Human Rights Commissions, Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations (MACDC), Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM), The Kellogg Foundation, The Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, Western New England University (WNE), and more.
Talk with speakers, attend book signings, meet dynamic practitioners and network with other attendees who are working to promote equality and fairness nationwide.
Thursday, April 7, 2016 - 8 AM - 5 PM
Friday, April 8, 2016 - 8 AM - 3 PM
Free for all attendees.
Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel (Link)
Who Should Attend?
Select a photo to read the biography of our Keynote Speakers.
Watch a trailer for Disney Education Production’s
“The Ernest Green Story”
In 2014, the National Law Journalnamed Mr. Lopez one of "America's 50 Outstanding General Counsels," and the magazine, Diversity and the Bar recognized Mr. Lopez as a "Latino Luminary" for his work as a civil rights attorney and as General Counsel. In 2011, Hispanic Business named Mr. Lopez to its list of 100 Influentials in the Hispanic community.
Before becoming General Counsel, Lopez spent 12 years serving as a litigator in the EEOC's Phoenix District Office, where he successfully tried several novel and noteworthy cases. He won significant jury verdicts against Alamo Rent-a-Car (the first "post-9/11 backlash" religious accommodation case brought by the EEOC), and Go Daddy (a national origin (Moroccan), religion (Islam), and retaliation case), to name a few.
From 1991 to 1994, Mr. Lopez was a Senior Trial Attorney with the Civil Rights Division, Employment Litigation Section, of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. Between 1988 and 1991, Mr. Lopez was an Associate with Spiegel and McDiarmid in Washington, D.C. Mr. Lopez graduated from Harvard Law School in 1988 and graduated magna cum laude from Arizona State University in 1985, with a B.S. in Political Science.
“The State of Civil Rights”
Select a photo to read the biography of our plenary panelists.
Mr. Brancart graduated with honors from the University of Texas School of Law in 1985. Following law school, he clerked for the Honorable Vincent L. McKusick, the Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, and then taught appellate advocacy and administrative law at Western State University College of Law. From 1987 to 1989, he worked as a staff attorney and later as the supervising attorney at the Legal Services Program in Pomona.
Mr. Brancart has successfully tried and settled hundreds of fair housing cases. The firm has been counsel of record on many important fair housing cases that have been litigated at the appellate level, including in the Ninth Circuit, the California Court of Appeals, and in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Mr. Brancart also conducts fair housing training courses for government attorneys and private attorneys throughout the nation.
Before joining the Lawyers’ Committee, Iván was the legal director of the Center for HIV Law and Policy (CHLP), Lambda Legal, MALDEF, and as an associate at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP. Mr. Espinoza-Madrigal clerked for Judge Eric Clay in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and Judge Ronald Ellis in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. A summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, he received a Juris Doctor from NYU School of Law, where he was a Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar.
The National LGBT Bar Association has recognized Iván as one of the Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40. He served as a 21st Century Fellow with the Pipeline Project and the Rockwood Leadership Institute. In 2014, Queens Pride House, a grassroots community organization in Jackson Heights, Queens, honored him at their anniversary celebration. In 2016, Iván received the OUTLaw Alumnus of the Year Award from NYU School of Law.
Dr. Howe has a B.A. in Psychology from McMaster University; a B.Ed. in Elementary and Special Education from the University of Western Ontario; a M.S. in Management Science from Lesley University School of Management, and his MA and Ed.D. from Teachers College/Columbia University.
Mr. Medley previously served as the EEOC Miami District Director from April 2011 until April 2015. Prior to joining the EEOC, Medley served as Chairman of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) where he led a 75-person team of investigators, fact finders, attorneys and staff who enforced federal civil rights laws. In addition to his administrative functions, Medley oversaw all regulatory, enforcement and adjudicatory functions of the MCAD. Additionally, Medley has previously litigated various employment and civil rights cases in federal and state courts on behalf of individual, municipal and corporate clients in federal and state appeals courts, as well as before state and federal administrative agencies. As a special assistant corporation counsel with the city of Boston, Medley represented the Boston Public School Department in discrimination cases, traditional labor negotiation and disputes, disciplinary proceedings and grievance arbitrations. Mr. Medley served as an Adjunct Professor at Florida International University where he taught Public Administration Law. He has also served as an Arbitrator on the American Arbitration Association’s National Roster of Employment and Commercial Arbitrators.
Mr. Medley was recognized by the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly as one of its “Up and Coming Lawyers” in 2003. He is the recipient of the New York Region Jamaican-American Bar Association 2010 Barristers Award; City of Quincy, Commitment to Human Rights Award (2010); and the Norfolk County District Attorney, Dedication to Achieving Fairness and Equality Certificate (2010). Mr. Medley has also served on several not-for-profit boards and is a past Vice President of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association.
Mr. Medley is a graduate of Northeastern University, where he earned a B.S. degree, and Boston University Law School where he earned both his J.D. and LL.M. degrees.
Dr. Robinson has served as adjunct faculty at various colleges including University of Massachusetts at Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences; Springfield College School of Social Work; Western New England College Criminal Justice Program; and Westfield State College Sociology Department.
Dr. Robinson earned his Ph.D. in Public Health - Community Health Education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA; his Master of Arts in Community Psychology from Mansfield University, Mansfield, PA; and his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from State University of New York, Oswego, NY.
“The Pursuit of Racial Equality and Healing”
Select a photo to read the biography of our plenary panelists.
Gail is a nationally recognized leader in health policy, with particular expertise and experience in the issues related to social determinants of health, health inequities and public policy issues of concern to our nation’s future. Her distinguished career and contributions to public service were honored in 1996 when she was elected as a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. In 2011 she was awarded the “Change Agent Award” by the Schott Foundation for Public Education; in 2012 she was the recipient of the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP) John C. MacQueen Lecture Award for her innovation and leadership in the field of maternal and child health. Most recently in 2015 she was the recipient of the Terrance Keenan award for Grantmakers in Health. She is chair of the board of the Trust for America’s Health.
In 2010, SSA Cowley was promoted to Headquarters where she served in the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit followed by assignment to the Laboratory Division, Evidence Response Team Unit. SSA Cowley returned to the Boston Division, Springfield Resident Agency in October 2014 to oversee all federal criminal investigations in Western Massachusetts including public corruption, civil rights, white collar crime, organized crime, violent crime, and crimes against children.
Waleska was appointed by Mayor Sarno to the Massachusetts Art& Cultural Council to represent Springfield. In 2008, Governor Deval L. Patrick appointed her as a Commissioner for Commonwealth Corps, promoting civic engagement throughout the State. Waleska has served as a corporate board member of the YMCA of Greater Springfield, and is currently chairing a Global Diversity & Inclusion Committee; she sits on the board of the Commonwealth Compact Higher Ed Diversity Collaborative, United Way of Pioneer Valley/Women’s Leadership Council, Puerto Rican Parade Planning Team, and is a founding committee member for Leadership Pioneer Valley. She also served as a board member for Partners for a Healthier Community, addressing health disparities within the African American and Latino communities with Baystate Health.
Waleska is a 2014 uAspire First One awardee, was honored in 2012 with a “Love Thy Neighbor Lifetime Achievement Award” by New Creation Discipleship Ministries and Foundation, and is a recipient of the 40 Under Forty community award by Business West, She was recognized with the “Visionary Woman of Excellence” award by Unity First and named one of Biltmore’s Who’s Who. In 2009 she was honored at Springfield City Hall during the celebration of Puerto Rican Heritage Month, rising of the Puerto Rican flag dedicated to “Latina Women in Leadership Roles.” She holds her Master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Management and her Bachelors of Science degree in Business Management. Lugo-DeJesus’s passion is focused on promoting inclusion, civic engagement, leadership and educating communities about 21st. century race relations.
In recognition of the Museum’s national service, President George W. Bush bestowed the National Humanities Medal to the Museum and President Barack Obama invited her to the White House with Norman Rockwell’s painting The Problem We All Live With to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement. She was a cultural specialist to Ethiopia and Russia with the US State Department. Currently she serves on the boards of the Association of Art Museum Directors, Berkshire Bank, Berkshire Health Systems and Connecticut College. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in art history from Connecticut College and her MBA from the University of Massachusetts.
Before joining the MCAD, Commissioner Richie held several notable positions, including Senior Vice President for Public Policy, Advocacy & Government Relations at YouthBuild USA, and serving in Governor Deval Patrick’s Office as a Senior Advisor for Federal, State & Community Affairs, where she was instrumental in establishing the Office of Access & Opportunity and the Statewide Youth Council, and reactivating the administration’s Western Massachusetts Office. Commissioner Richie also previously served as Boston’s Housing Chief and Director of the Department of Neighborhood Development, and for several years led the city’s affordable housing campaign. A former legislator, who was elected to three terms in the Massachusetts House of Representatives and co-chaired the Joint Committee on Housing & Urban Development, Commissioner Richie has dedicated much of her career to civil rights, youth development and affordable housing. She is a graduate of Rutgers University (B.A.), Columbia University School of Journalism (M.S.), and Suffolk University’s Sawyer School of Management (M.B.A. with a concentration in Business Law), and a former US Peace Corps Volunteer.