Workshop and
Speakers


#FHCRC2022

Information on registration

Thank you for your interest in the annual Fair Housing & Civil Rights Conference. This year’s conference is held over three days with twelve workshops and three keynote speakers. Please view the schedule below and register for each workshop session individually. The majority of sessions will be recorded and can be accessed in our resource center after the conference has concluded.

16TH ANNUAL

Fair Housing &
Civil Rights Conference

April 5–7, 2022

2022 Conference Workshops

April 5, 2022

9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Register

Conference Introduction – Susan Forward and Jamie Williamson

Join us for a “Fireside Chat” with Susan Forward and Jamie Williamson

10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

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COVID and Mandatory Vaccination Policy in Healthcare and Employment

Presented by: Susan Rhodes, Regional Manager for the Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights; Deirdre Hosier, General Counsel, Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination; and, Kenneth An, Director, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Boston Area Office.

Join the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination; Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights; and, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in a discussion on the latest trends and analysis of COVID related topics including reasonable accommodations under Chapter 151B of the Massachusetts State Law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; and, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended.

10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

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Critical Race Theory (CRT) & Critical Race Teaching: Towards a Pedagogy of Justice & Civility

Presented by: Chad Dion Lassiter, Executive Director of Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission

This workshop will focus on how Critical Race Theory has been taken out of context for the purposes of maintaining ‘whiteness’ against the backdrop of ‘white rage.’ Dialogue will consist of what CRT is and why there is a need for Critical Race teaching in an era of white racism, white violence and white victimization. In the tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. W.E.B. Dubois and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, Lassiter will aim to highlight how all humanity can work towards themes of justice.

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

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Keynote Speaker:
Demetria McCain

Demetria McCain joins HUD’s team as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. Prior to serving in this capacity, she spent fifteen years, most recently as president, at the Inclusive Communities Project (ICP). ICP is a Dallas-based affordable fair housing organization. Prior to becoming president, she oversaw operations, communications and ICP’s Mobility Assistance Program, a housing mobility program that serves housing choice voucher holders who desire housing in low-poverty well-resourced neighborhoods throughout the seven-county Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Conceived by Demetria, ICP’s “Voices for Opportunity” initiative has provided advocacy training to voucher holders fighting for expanding housing options and Black and Latinx neighborhood groups seeking neighborhood equity.

2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

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Testing best practices: Insights from Around the Country

Catherine LaRaia Clinical Fellow and Director of Investigations and Outreach in the Suffolk Law School’s Housing Discrimination Testing Program (HDTP)
Kelly Vieira Clinical Fellow and Test Coordinator for the Housing Discrimination Testing Program at Suffolk University
Engela Bertolini Coordinator of Systemic Investigations and Testing for the Fair Housing Center of Metropolitan Detroit

Discrimination testing is a powerful and ever-evolving tool in the fight against housing discrimination. Through the course of a test, test coordinators are often met with unforeseen circumstances that they must navigate in real-time. These challenges can be used to inform better practices and protocols which in turn improve testing. Join us for an open discussion on the various hurdles, surprises, and successes experienced by testing coordinators through the course of the pandemic, and beyond. This panel will leave you with workable strategies to better “expect the unexpected” as a test coordinator.

2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Register

Minority Language Assistance During Elections

John “Bert” Russ, Deputy Chief, Voting Section.
Michelle Rupp, Trial Attorney, Voting Section

Attorneys from the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, will discuss the requirements of Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires certain places to provide language assistance to voters who do not speak English well. The attorneys will also discuss the new list of covered places as of December 2021, including cities in New England.

2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

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Fair Housing: More than Just Words

Jeffrey Sussman, Equal Opportunity Region 1 Center Director
Kristen Barry, Program Compliance Branch Chief

Please join us for a panel with HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Region 1 Center Director, Jeffrey Sussman, and Program Compliance Branch Chief, Kristen Barry. The panelists will give an overview of the work the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity conducts, how HUD works with local government and non-profit partners, and how to report suspected violations of fair housing law.

 April 6, 2022

9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

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Opening Session — Jamie Williamson & Pops Peterson

Join Jamie Williamson and Pops Peterson, a social justice artist and activist, to open day two of the Fair Housing & Civil Rights Conference in a discussion about art and social protest.

10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

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Moving Ahead: Issues Facing Women Coming to a New Country

Presented by:
Martine Dherte, Director of Refugee Services,CIRI
Suzanne Schnitzer, President and CEO, CIRI

The focus of this lecture is on the struggle that women face coming to a new country and being asked to integrate themselves in a society that they know very little about. The workshop will force us to look at ourselves and what we can do to help newcomers. An overview of the life of the women resettled in Connecticut in the last year will be provided for reflection.

10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

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The Systematic Underpayment of Wages and Benefits for Women of Color in New York City Government Human Services Contracting

Presented by: James A. Parrott, Director of Economic and Fiscal Policies at the Center for New York City Affairs at The New School.

This talk explores how government contracting with nonprofits often shortchanges a committed workforce of care workers.

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

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Keynote Speaker:
Matthew Desmond

Matthew Desmond is the Maurice P. During Professor of Sociology at Princeton University. After receiving his Ph.D. in 2010 from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, he joined the Harvard Society of Fellows as a Junior Fellow. He is the author of four books, including Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (2016), which won the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, and Carnegie Medal, and PEN / John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction.

The principal investigator of The Eviction Lab, Desmond’s research focuses on poverty in America, city life, housing insecurity, public policy, racial inequality, and ethnography. He is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award, and the William Julius Wilson Early Career Award. A Contributing Writer for the New York Times Magazine, Desmond was listed in 2016 among the Politico 50, as one of “fifty people across the country who are most influencing the national political debate.”

2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

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How State Policy Can Further Fair Housing: Massachusetts Legislation Filed This Session

Panelists:

William Berman, Clinical Professor of Law at Suffolk University Law School  
Whitney Demetrius, Director of Fair Housing Engagement, Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association
Eric Shupin, Director of Public Policy, Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association

The federal Fair Housing Act provides the Commonwealth and its communities with the power to investigate, enforce, and further fair housing. State policy can strengthen these tools through funding, enforcement, and planning. In this session, the Citizens’ Housing And Planning Association (CHAPA) team will provide information on legislation filed this session, the status of these bills, and what you can do to shape state policy to ensure people have a full range of choices in deciding where they live.

2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Register

Fair Housing 101

Panelists:
H. John Fisher, Fair Housing Coordinator, WayFinders
Maureen St. Cyr Staff Attorney, Housing Unit, Community Legal Aid

When we speak of fair housing rights, we are drawing on an interplay of federal and state regulations that can vary in their specifics from state to state but still share a common purpose. With primary focus on one state (Massachusetts), this workshop will explore the basics of how federal and state fair housing laws can join together to create an overall pattern of protection.

April 7, 2022

9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

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A Conversation with EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows on Workplace Civil Rights: Challenges and Opportunities

Charlotte Burrows, Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will open the final day of the conference highlighting challenges and opportunities in the workplace. With an introduction from Jamie Williamson.

10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

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How we Gathered 32,000 Pandemic Eviction Records Efficiently and What We Learned

Presented by: Douglas Quattrochi, Executive Director of MassLandlords, Inc.

In this workshop we will examine the reasons for and results of eviction filings in Massachusetts from April 2019 through January 2022. We will examine periods of pre-pandemic baseline, eviction moratorium, and unprecedented rental assistance. This dataset is the work of five MassLandlords staff assisted by in-house software to read 100% of Massachusetts filings during the study period. We will share our methodology for others to reproduce. We will place our work in the context of recent research and suggest innovative policies to affirmatively further fair housing.

This workshop will be lecture format with Q&A.

10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

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Transgender Community and Beyond-Empowerment and Vulnerability

Presented by:
Tre’Andre Valentine, Executive Director, Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition
Jennifer Levi, Director of Transgender Project, GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders (GLAD)
Giovanna Shay, Litigation and Advocacy Director, GHLA
Michael Johnson, Chief Legal Strategist, GLAD

GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) will facilitate a conversation of lawyers and advocates working in the LGBTQ+ community and beyond to address legislation, litigation, and policy across the areas of employment, housing, schools, child welfare and beyond. The conversation will cover a wide spectrum of organizational activities that empower and we will address issues arising from federal and state legislation.
Tre’Andre Valentine, Executive Director, Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition
Jennifer Levi, Director of Transgender Project, GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders (GLAD)

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

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Keynote Speaker:
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, now in her fifteenth term as the Congresswoman for the District of Columbia, is the Chair of the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit. She serves on two committees: the Committee on Oversight and Reform and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

 

Plus: Presentation of the 2022 Drum Major Award honoring a local individual who has contributed significantly to the cause of fair housing and civil rights in the past year.

2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

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The Future of Civil Rights

Robert Terrell, Moderator, Fair Housing and Equity Officer, Boston Housing Authority
Nadine Cohen, Managing Attorney, Greater Boston Legal Services,
Marvin Martin, Executive Director, Action for Equity
Dana Rebeiro, Massachusetts Liaison, Vineyard Wind, Inc
Whitney Demetrius, Director of Fair Housing Engagement, Citizen’s Housing and Planning Association
Frank Farrow, Executive Director, City of Boston Office for the Advancement of Black Men

The format will be a 50 minute panel discussion, followed by a 30 minute Q&A period and 10 minutes for closing remarks. The Moderator of the panel will be Robert Terrell, Fair Housing and Equity Officer for the Boston Housing Authority. The focus of the workshop will be an examination of the major trends and issues in fair housing and civil rights today. Participants will not only learn the importance of these issues but why they are strategic for the future of democracy in the United States. This workshop is designed to be informative to any and all participants at the conference but will have significant impact even on those with little civil rights background.

2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

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Responding to Discrimination in Education: An Introduction to the U.S. Dept. of Education, Office for Civil Rights

Presenters:
Ramzi Ajami, Director, U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (Northeast)
Paul Easton, Supervisory General Attorney, US Dept of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) (Northeast)
Kaleigh Hogan,General Attorney, U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (Northeast)
Courtney Scadden,General Attorney, U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (Northeast)

This workshop will introduce the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, with a focus on the enforcement and outreach activities of the Boston Enforcement Office, which has jurisdiction over the Northeast (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont). The mission of the Office for Civil Rights is to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation through vigorous enforcement of civil rights. The presentation will build in a question-and-answer format to engage interested participants.

2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

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How to Build and Lead Diverse Organizations: The CREED Model for DEI Leadership

Alvin B. Tillery, Jr., Ph.D.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs have become a universally accepted catalyst for organizational success. The question that often looms large for leaders of organizations is: How do we do it? The CREED Model for DEI Leadership provides a framework for managing change around DEI priorities. The CREED model is the core of Northwestern University’s online executive education program, “Leading Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,” powered by 2U, Inc. A training resource at MGM International Resorts, Nike, and other major corporations, the training is based on Dr. Tillery’s 25 years of research in the fields of leadership and governance.

“Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, of a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”

— John Lewis