Fair Housing &

Civil Rights Conference

Bonus round: July 27, 2024.


Fair Housing and Civil Rights Conference 2024 Bonus Round!

A FREE One-Day Virtual Event. Thursday, July 27th 9:45 AM – 4:00 PM.

Following up on our successful return to an in-person conference in April, we’re offering a special bonus day of online workshops for those of you who weren’t able to make it to Springfield this year – and for those of you who did.


  • Some Guidance From HUD: VAWA, Advertising on Digital Platforms and Tenant Screening
  • Housing Tenants with a Mental Health Diagnosis
  • Understanding and Embracing Neurodiversity in the Workplace & Beyond

This event is FREE, but you must register in order to be able to attend.

Click here to register now.

We’ll send you the Zoom link in late June.


9:45 AM -10:00 AM:
Check-in and Welcome

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM: Some Guidance From HUD: VAWA, Advertising on Digital Platforms and Tenant Screening.  Fair housing may seem obvious in theory, but what does it mean in practice?  Over the years, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has issued a series of Guidances to clarify some of these issues.  In this workshop, Program Analyst Lucy Allen from HUD’s Boston Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) will review what the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2022 means in practice, and Program Compliance Branch Chief Elizabeth Morse from HUD’s Boston FHEO Office will focus on the most recent HUD Guidance related to advertising on digital platforms and tenant screening.

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM: Housing Tenants with a Mental Health Diagnosis. Housing providers are required to make a reasonable accommodation for tenants with a disability.  They may need to be particularly creative if their tenant’s disability involves mental health issues.  In this workshop, Anne Marie Martineau and Kate Shapiro will discuss what this means in real world terms based on their combined years of experience working with this population.

Anne Marie Martineau, ACSW, LICSW, has a deep awareness of the importance of secure and supported housing for individuals challenged with mental health issues. She works as a consultant to individuals and programs in Western Massachusetts.  From 1984 until she retired from full-time employment, Anne Marie served as a manager and senior leader in a variety of acute care clinical care settings, including: in-patent psychiatric settings, 24-hour crisis teams, and community mental health support programs. She led a team that successfully secured funding for a “Safe Havens” program in Western Massachusetts. Anne-Marie has received multiple awards for her work and leadership, most recently receiving the “Trauma Informed Care” award from the Western Massachusetts Department of Mental Health in 2022.

Kate Shapiro, JD, is the Director of Community Action of the Pioneer Valley’s Community Resource and Advocacy program which provides housing and other basic needs resources and referrals to low-income residents along with financial support for low-income individuals living with housing instability. She has held numerous leadership and direct service positions in the human service field over the past 15 years, using her law degree to empower marginalized individuals to advocate for themselves and to support individuals in navigating complex state and federal systems.   Kate has an unusual breadth of housing knowledge that spans court involved tenancy preservation, supporting individuals with mobile vouchers move to areas of higher opportunity, directing property management activities for a large affordable housing provider, and supporting clients of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) find and maintain affordable housing.   Kate received an EOHHS’ statewide “Performance Recognition Award” in 2021 in recognition of the contributions that she made to DMH clients and staff.


2:00 PM – 4:00 PM: Understanding and Embracing Neurodiversity in the Workplace & Beyond.  Neurodiversity refers to the natural variation in human brain functioning, encompassing individuals with conditions such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia and other neurological conditions.  According to research done by Deloitte, between 10%-20% of the global population is considered neurodivergent. While neurodivergent people may have difficulties, they also have certain strengths. Deloitte reports that teams with neurodivergent professionals in some roles can be 30% more productive than those without them.

During the pandemic social media platforms like Tik Tok exploded with people creating content specifically about ADHD, Autism, and other Neurodivergent conditions. Tik Toks with the Hashtags #ADHD, #Autism and #Neurodiversity have been viewed more than 11 billion times last year alone. This panel brings together a diverse group of neurodivergent attorneys, and parents of neurodiverse children, to discuss the challenges and opportunities of embracing neurodiversity in workplace and beyond.

Discussion Topics:

  1. Understanding Neurodiversity:
  2. Leveraging Strengths and Overcoming Challenges:
  3. Creating Inclusive Work Environments:
  4. Impact of social media & technology
  5. The ADA, Advocacy & Policy
  6. Best Practices & Resources

Panel Members:

Haneefah Khaaliq, Executive Director, Gary Human Relations Commission

Tyler Whitacre, Director, Antidiscrimination and Labor, Utah Labor Commission

Ahni Malachi, Executive Director, New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights

James Brislin, Mediator, Philadelphia District, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Janine McAdam, NYC & MA Autism Advocate

Moderator: Jamie Williamson, District Director, Philadelphia District, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Pennsylvania CLE Credit Available for this Workshop Upon Request

Click here to register now.


2024 Plenary Speakers

Tackey Chan

State Representative, Massachusetts, 2nd Norfolk District

Andrew Leland

Author, “The Country of the Blind: A Memoir at the End of Sight”

Emily Drabinski

President, American Library Association

Jennifer Levi

Senior Director of Transgender and Queer Rights at GLAD and Professor, WNEU School of Law

MA & CT Fair Housing Centers

Zelda Harris

Dean, WNEU School of Law

Sheldon Lyke

Associate Professor at Loyola School of Law

Jocelyn Samuels

Vice Chair, US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission