10th Anniversary
Fair Housing & Civil Rights Conference

April 7 - April 8, 2016 | Springfield, MA

The 10th Anniversary Fair Housing and Civil Rights Conference is a free two-day symposium featuring workshops, panel discussions, networking and career development opportunities, all led by distinguished civil rights activists, government officials, world-class trainers, and non-profit organizations.

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.

Contact Us

For all questions regarding the 10th Anniversary Fair Housing and Civil Rights Conference, including logistics, dietary restrictions, and press inquiries, please contact H Harrison the Conference Coordinator

General Information

Dates
Thursday, April 7, 2016 - 8 AM - 5 PM
Friday, April 8, 2016 - 8 AM - 3 PM

Cost
Free for all attendees.

Location
Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel (Link)

Who Should Attend?

The Conference is designed for federal and private sector EEO managers, supervisors, practitioners, HR professionals, attorneys and ADR specialists, civil rights leaders, government employees, fair housing specialists, and the public at large who are seeking resources and best practices to help ensure that you are up to date on civil rights hot topics, and your agency, company, client or rental property complies with local and federal employment and fair housing laws and regulations.

Featured Speakers

Select a photo to read the biography of our Keynote Speakers.

Ernest Green
Ernest Green
Ernest Green was one of the Little Rock Nine, a group of African-American students who, in 1957, were the first black students ever to attend classes at Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Green was the first African-American to graduate from the school in 1958. In 1999, he and the other members of the Little Rock Nine were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by President Bill Clinton. Green has received numerous awards and honors for his work, including the NAACP Spingarn Award, the Rockefeller Public Service Award, and honorary doctorates from Tougaloo College, Michigan State University, and Central State University.

Watch a trailer for Disney Education Production’s
“The Ernest Green Story”

Jonathan Kozol
Jonathan Kozol
Jonathan Kozol is an American writer, educator, and activist, best known for his books on public education in the United States. Mr. Kozol has devoted nearly his entire life to the challenge of providing equal opportunity to every child in our public schools. Death at an Early Age, Kozol’s first non-fiction book, which describes his first year as a teacher, received the 1968 National Book Award in Science, Philosophy, and Religion. Among his other major works are Rachel and Her Children, a study of homeless mothers and their children, which received the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, and Savage Inequalities, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1992. His 1995 best-seller, Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation, received the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in 1996, an honor previously granted to the works of Langston Hughes and Dr. Martin Luther King. His recent work, Fire in the Ashes, is a redemptive story of children who prevail against all odds.
Carmen Ortiz
Carmen Ortiz
Carmen M. Ortiz was nominated by President Barack Obama as the United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2009. She is the first Hispanic and the first woman to represent Massachusetts as U.S. Attorney. She oversees the work of more than 200 attorneys and support staff in Boston, Worcester and Springfield.In 2010, she implemented the District’s first civil rights initiative, aimed at reinvigorating enforcement efforts of federal civil rights laws and increasing visibility among affected communities through extensive community outreach efforts. During her tenure as U.S. Attorney, Ms. Ortiz has overseen the criminal prosecution of corrupt Massachusetts Speaker of the House Sal DiMasi, infamous gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, and currently the prosecution in the Boston Marathon bombing. Additionally, she has led the District of Massachusetts to some of the largest civil settlements in U.S. history, including that of health care giant, GlaxoSmithKline. In addition, Ms. Ortiz serves on Attorney General Eric Holder’s Advisory Committee (AGAC). She is also the Chair of the AGAC’s Healthcare Fraud Working Group and a member of the AGAC’s sub-committee on Civil Rights and White Collar Crime.
Gustavo Velasquez
Gustavo Velasquez
Gustavo Velasquez is the Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he leads the President's efforts to combat housing discrimination and to affirmatively further fair housing. Prior to his nomination, Velasquez was Executive Director of the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC), a non-for-profit organization based in Washington, DC dedicated to serve thousands of Latinos and other immigrants and underserved populations gain the necessary skills and capital to start and maintain their own businesses. Prior to his tenure at LEDC, he served for seven years as Director of the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights, where he led the enforcement provisions of the DC Human Right Act, considered one of the most comprehensive non-discrimination laws in the country. He also served between 2003 and 2007 as DC’s Director of the Office of Latino Affairs.
P. David Lopez
P. David Lopez
David Lopez was sworn in as General Counsel of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on April 8, 2010. He was nominated by President Barack Obama and was confirmed by the Senate on December 22, 2010. He was confirmed a second time by the Senate on December 3, 2014. Mr. Lopez is the first EEOC field trial attorney to be appointed as the agency's General Counsel. He has served at the Commission in various capacities for the past 20 years, including as Supervisory Trial Attorney in the Phoenix District Office and Special Assistant to then-Chairman Gilbert F. Casellas.

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”

This panel, taking place during the Dr. Joseph McNeil Luncheon on Thursday, April 7, is an opportunity to hear from national civil rights leaders from different arenas discuss the State of Civil Rights — both locally and nationally — and debate the challenges that organizations, agencies, and the general public face daily, as well as how we can better effectuate change working together in our communities.

Select a photo to read the biography of our plenary panelists.

Stella Adams
Stella Adams
Stella Adams is the Chief of Civil Rights at National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC). Ms. Adams is a nationally recognized expert in fair housing, predatory lending, mortgage fraud and investigation techniques. Prior to joining NCRC, Ms. Adams served as the Senior Policy Advisor to the National Fair Housing Training Academy. She has appeared on national television programs such as Melissa Harris-Perry and Fault Lines, and frequently appears in national and local newspapers. She is known for her relentless commitment to underserved people and for pushing to hold accountable institutions that discriminate in lending and housing.
Chris Brancart
Chris Brancart
Christopher Brancart is a partner in Brancart & Brancart, a law firm located in Pescadero. The firm specializes in fair housing litigation. Mr. Brancart founded the firm with his wife Elizabeth in 1989 with the specific goal of bringing federal Fair Housing Act cases on behalf of plaintiffs. Since then, the firm has handled more Fair Housing Act cases than any other private firm in the United States.

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.
Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal
Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal
Iván Espinoza-Madrigal (@IvanEspinozaESQ) is the Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice. In a decade as a public interest lawyer, Iván has worked on a wide range of civil rights issues, including racial justice, immigrant rights, and LGBT/HIV equality. His work has been featured in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times. He speaks nationally on civil rights issues; contributes writing to the Practical Lawyer and the Huffington Post; and provides legal commentary to CNN, Univision, and Telemundo. His writing and commentary focuses on the legal needs of people who identify across intersecting lines of race, sexual orientation, gender identity, and immigration status.

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.
Mason Dunn
Mason Dunn
Mason Dunn is the executive director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition and co-chair of the Freedom Massachusetts campaign. An educator and activist, Mason has been working on transgender rights around the country for over 10 years. Mason is a member of the New Hampshire Bar Association, and a 2012 graduate of the Daniel Webster Honors Scholars Program at the University of New Hampshire, School of Law. When Mason is not working for social justice, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Lauren, and backpacking, kayaking, and pursing his more geeky interests. You can reach Mason at MasonDunn@masstpc.org.
William Howe
William Howe
Dr. Bill Howe has been the President of Multicultural Dimensions, his own training and consulting firm since 1991. He is also an adjunct professor of education at the University of Connecticut, Albertus Magnus College and Quinnipiac University. He is the former program manager for culturally responsive education, multicultural education, bullying & harassment, gender equity and civil rights at the Connecticut State Department of Education. He is Past Chair of the Connecticut Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission and Past President of the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME). Howe has been an educator for over 35 years in the U.S. and Canada and has traveled to China, South Africa, Israel and Cuba to study multicultural education. He is a regular presenter at state and national conferences, has appeared on both radio and television on diversity issues. Dr. Howe is the co-author of a textbook on multicultural education – “Becoming a multicultural educator: Developing awareness, gaining skills, and taking action” (2016,2e SAGE) which won the 2013 Philip C. Chinn Multicultural Book Award from the National Association for Multicultural Education. He serves on the editorial boards of the new Journal of Family Diversity in Education, and Multicultural Perspectives, the official journal of the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME), the Journal of Campus Title IX Compliance and Best Practices and on the SAGE Video Editorial Advisory Board.

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.
Malcolm Medley
Malcolm Medley
Malcolm S. Medley was appointed to the position of Director of Field Coordination Program in April 2015, by Chair Jenny Yang of the United States Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC). As Director, Mr. Medley provides policy, operational, and administrative direction and oversight of the EEOC’s Federal Hearings Program, Alternative Dispute Resolution Program, Outreach Program, Strategic Partnerships, Field Staff Training, and The Revolving Fund and Training Institute. Mr. Medley also serves as a member of the EEOC’s Office of Field Program senior leadership team, and participates in determining policies and strategies for the agency’s Enforcement Program. Mr. Medley is a member of the U.S. Federal Government Senior Executive Service.

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.
Frank Robinson
Frank Robinson
In 2015 Frank Robinson, Ph.D., became the Vice President of Public Health & Community Relations for Baystate Health. In this role, Dr. Robinson is responsible for integrating clinical and community care to better serve vulnerable people and populations across the spectrum of diversity and create healthier communities. Dr. Robinson also represents Baystate Health in the area of Community Relations by building a shared agenda and common goals for community improvement with neighborhood, community and business representatives and other key stakeholders. Dr. Robinson joined Baystate Health in 1995, for the past 20 years Dr. Robinson simultaneously served as the Executive Director of Partners for a Healthier Community and the Director of Community Health Planning at Baystate Health. With over 40 years of public and not-for-profit experience, Dr. Robinson has spent his career working to build healthy communities. Dr. Robinson has won several awards for his community work.

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.
Jamie R. Williamson
Jamie R. Williamson

Moderator

Jamie R. Williamson is Chairwoman of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD). Appointed in 2014 as the Chair by Governor Deval L. Patrick, Ms. Williamson has served as a Commissioner since 2010 and sits in the Springfield office. Prior to joining the MCAD, she was Executive Director of the Massachusetts Fair Housing Center, a private non‐profit fair housing organization serving central and western Massachusetts. In 2005, Ms. Williamson was appointed by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts to serve on the Access to Justice Commission. In 1995, Williamson became the first African American woman to serve on the Pittsfield City Council, and the first African‐American to serve at‐large. Ms. Williamson has lectured and conducted seminars on fair housing and civil rights enforcement to public and private housing organizations, various associations in the housing industry, service organizations, real estate professionals, attorneys, and government agencies throughout New England and as a guest lecturer at UMass Amherst and Smith College. Williamson graduated from Smith College in Northampton, MA with a Bachelor’s degree in Government.

“The Pursuit of Racial Equality and Healing”

The Plenary Panel on Friday, April 8th, will explore the various efforts made to heal racism in America, while also addressing structural and institutional discrimination that pervades this country. Attendees will hear from organizations that are pivotal in fighting inequality on the local, state, and national levels, as well as from individuals who are making meaningful progress in ending discrimination and exclusion-fuel inequalities.

Select a photo to read the biography of our plenary panelists.

Dr. Gail Christopher
Dr. Gail Christopher
Dr. Gail Christopher is senior advisor and vice president at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. In this role, she leads the foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) enterprise and serves on the president’s cabinet that provides overall direction and leadership for the foundation. Since joining the foundation in 2007, Gail has served as vice president for program strategy with responsibility for multiple areas of programming, including Racial Equity; Food, Health & Well-Being; Community Engagement and Leadership; as well as place-based programming in New Orleans and New Mexico.

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.
Julia Cowley
Julia Cowley
Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) Julia Cowley has been an FBI Agent for almost 17 years. Her first assignment was to the Boston Division, where she spent over 10 years investigating public corruption, civil rights and white collar crime. SSA Cowley was also a member and team leader on the Boston Division’s Evidence Response Team.

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.
Brendan Kiely
Brendan Kiely
Brendan Kiely is an American Author and Educator. His debut novel, The Gospel of Winter, has been published in eight languages, it was selected as one of American Library Association’s Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults 2015, and it was a Kirkus Reviews selection for best of 2014. He is the co-author, with Jason Reynolds, of the new explosive novel, All American Boys. Kiely received an MFA in creative writing from The City College of New York Originally from the Boston area, he now lives with his wife in Greenwich Village.
Waleska Lugo-DeJesus
Waleska Lugo-DeJesus
Waleska Lugo-DeJesús has over twenty years of experience working in the private, nonprofit sector, and in higher education. She is the Director of the Healing Racism Institute of Pioneer Valley responsible for the planning, developing, implementing and leadership of the Social Institute.

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.
Laurie Moffatt
Laurie Norton Moffatt
Laurie Norton Moffatt is Director and CEO of Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA. A leading scholar of American illustration art, she authored the Norman Rockwell catalogue raisonné and led the growth of the museum from a small house in the artist’s hometown to be a global leader in illustration art exhibitions, scholarship and digital collections connectivity. She founded the Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies, the nation’s first art history scholarly institute in American illustration art which is a hub of illustration art collections, museums, libraries, universities, scholars, curators and professors across the country.

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.
Charlotte Golar Richie
Charlotte Golar Richie

Moderator

Charlotte Golar Richie is a Commissioner for the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD). In this position, Commissioner Richie is responsible for the administration, adjudication, and education of civil rights matters for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She serves as the Investigating Commissioner on cases filed in Essex, Middlesex and Suffolk Counties, the agency’s largest jurisdiction; and, as a certified mediator for the Commission, she facilitates conciliations to help settle disputes. She also has worked in support of initiatives to advance the MCAD’s mission, including efforts to strengthen and expand the agency’s language access program to better serve limited English proficient individuals.

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.

Partners

MCAD
HAPHousing
Mass Fair Housing Center
Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities
EEOC
WNEU
FHE
South Coast Fair Housing
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