2014 Session Workshops
The Northeast Regional Fair Housing and Civil Rights Conference will present a range of workshop sessions. The sessions listed below include Workshop Series I & II for Day One (April 10) and Workshop Series III & IV for Day Two (April 11). All sessions are recommended for (but not limited to) municipalities, community-based organizations and corporations (managers, supervisors and HR leaders) as well as the legal, educational, health care, housing and banking/finance communities.
Workshop Series I - April 10 (Morning)
1A: Introduction to Fair Housing 101
This workshop offers a comprehensive introduction to fair housing laws (federal and state). The session is recommended for lawyers, advocates, housing counseling staff, community based-agencies, and housing providers.
2A: Social Media: Standards of Conduct in and out of the Workplace
Social networking is now the most popular activity online. This session will look at the intersection of technology, social media and the law. Also, it will explore implications regarding the use and role of social media in hiring, disciplinary actions, termination and privacy regulations. Recent cases involving social media will be presented and analyzed.
3A: Understanding Disability Discrimination: Reasonable Accommodations and Service Animals
Panelists will discuss state and federal laws regarding the ADA, requests for reasonable accommodations, service animals, guide dogs, and emotional support/comfort animals. Participants will learn how state and federal law make distinctions between guide dogs, service animals, and emotional support/comfort animals.
4A: Urban Health Issues: Challenges and Solutions
Despite the steady improvements in the overall health of people in the United States, racial and ethnic minorities experience a higher rate of morbidity and mortality than non-minorities. Panelists will discuss the health disparities that exist between different populations and present strategies to overcome these differences. Learn about AMA programs and activities committed to the elimination of racial and ethnic health care disparities.
5A: Community Development and Planning/Creating Inclusive Communities and Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (Series I & II)
This workshop will provide an overview of community development and planning strategies that promote integration and reduce segregation. The discussion will highlight best practices for affirmatively furthering fair housing, and outline ways to develop and sustain diverse communities, including effective strategies for developing successful affordable housing projects.
6A: History Workshop: Pan African Historical Museum USA Walking Tour of Springfield’s History, National Underground Railroad highlights and Emancipation Trail (historical points from Boston to Berkshires) Virtual Tour presentation: This on-site presentation and walking tour of Springfield will share the culturally significant history and landmarks in Massachusetts that are relevant to present-day discussions of civil and human rights – from the days of Emancipation to the passing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Workshop Series II - April 10 (Afternoon)
1B: Advanced Fair Housing 102
Panelists will build on the information provided during Fair Housing 101 session. It will explore fair housing hot topics and the real-world impact of fair housing issues. This is for attorneys and community advocates. Attend and learn how to develop a fair housing case, understand and explore disparate impact theory. Also, learn how to establish liability and assess damages.
2B: Arrest and Conviction Records Panel
Panelists will discuss recent cases and legal developments surrounding the use of arrest and conviction records in employment cases. This session will explore the rights of those who have been arrested or convicted as well as best practices for employers, including guidance regarding pre-employment inquiries into prior arrests and convictions.
3B: Hot Topics in Employment Law – Legal Updates
Attendees will learn about recent developments in employment law, including an overview of recent court cases and decisions.
4B: An Introduction to Cultural Competence
Panelists will share effective ways to build culturally competent organizations and address workplace challenges. Participants will learn how to effectively develop, implement and manage workplace diversity and inclusion strategies and plans. They will also learn how to identify bias, address cultural miscommunication challenges, and develop multicultural awareness to build trust and better communication within the workplace.
5B: Community Development and Planning/Creating Inclusive Communities and Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (Part II)
See Part I description in Workshop Series I (April 10,morning)
6B: Hot Topics: Real Estate, Homeownership and Wealth Panelists will discuss the state of our communities and provide valuable data on real estate, wealth and homeownership.
7B: How to Develop a Language Access Plan
Learn innovative ways of developing a culturally and linguistically accessible language access plan and is important to do so. Also, learn how to identify resources for training and strategies for implementation.
Workshop Series III - April 11 (Morning)
1C: Overcoming Unconscious Bias
There is overwhelming evidence that unconscious bias impacts everyday decisions including, how we treat people that we meet, how we interact with our co-workers and our ability to describe events that we witness. Panelists will explain the theory of unconscious bias and highlight the impact of unconscious bias in the workplace and beyond.
2C: Health, Wealth and Homeownership
A vibrant community is a diverse and inclusive place where people and programs collaborate to provide personal, organizational and environmental prosperity. Panelists will discuss the state of our communities and provide valuable data on health, wealth, income and homeownership gaps.
3C: Reasonable Accommodations: The Bermuda Triangle -- Understanding the Intersection of the ADA, FMLA, and Workers Compensation
Presenters will discuss the legal basis and requirements for responding to reasonable accommodation requests and outline ways to successfully engage in the interactive dialogue process. Discussion will include a review of the responsibilities of employers under ADA, FMLA, and Workers Compensation.
4C: How to Use Social Media for Community Engagement and Cross Cultural Networking
Attendees will learn how social networking tools and other technologies can be used to advance their agency’s mission. Panelists will discuss how social media has been used successfully by grassroots organizations to engage communities and promote awareness of various causes. Participants will learn how to use the media to communicate messages to the public and promote agency programs, activities, and mission.
5C: “Conducting a Hearing in a Fair Housing Case” and it is intended as training for Commissioners and Hearing Officers. This panel will discuss the nuts and bolts of conducting administrative hearings and will highlight issues that arise in such hearings. The panel will discuss pre-hearing procedure, the mechanics of conducting a hearing, and considerations for decision writing. The panel will also give insight into the process from the perspective of the litigants.
6C: The Future of Civil Rights
Attendees will learn about the changing landscape of the civil rights movement. The session will also cover the new priorities for advancing civil rights causes.
Workshop Series IV - April 11 (Afternoon)
1D: Managing Across Difference
Diversity is about embracing many different types of people who stand for different things and represent different cultures, generations, ideas, expertise and perspectives. Attend this session to learn proactive strategies for not only navigating and leveraging diversity and inclusion in today’s workplace, but also developing best practices for managing and leading people who are different from you. Also, the session will share effective ways to manage the multicultural workers and professionals of today and tomorrow.
2D: Advocacy by the MA Attorney General Office: A review of advocacy on civil rights issues nationwide.
This workshop will highlight the Attorney General's significant civil rights work before the U.S. Supreme Court, federal Courts of Appeals, the Supreme Judicial Court, and elsewhere. Discussion includes McCullen v. Coakley (buffer zone), Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby (contraception mandate), and marriage equality cases.
3D: DOJ: Promoting Safe and Inclusive Schools
The speaker will discuss recent guidance issued by the Department of Justice to assist public elementary and secondary schools in meeting their obligations to administer student discipline in a non-discriminatory manner. Preventing gender-based discrimination and bullying in schools will be discussed using practical examples. Attendees will learn about providing services to children with disabilities and encouraging multicultural awareness in the classroom.
4D: Talent Management - Managing for the 21st Century Workforce
How talent will shift in next 25 years? This session will help leaders and managers learn how to adjust their workforces for future needs, demands, and expectations as well as meet the talent expectation needed to drive success in marketplace that now sees skill shortages. Attendees will learn to develop multi-dimensional human resources management systems and adaptable organizational structures that will meet the needs of a culturally diverse employee population.
5D: Recognizing signs of Human Trafficking in Your Community
Attendees will develop awareness regarding the indicators and prevalence of human trafficking throughout the region. Myths will be dispelled and information will be provided regarding the complexities associated with rescuing victims of human trafficking. Also, attendees will learn what they can do to assist victims and law enforcement.
6D: Veterans Issues – Hot Topics – Providing Services to Veterans
Panelists will discuss the programs and services available to veterans who face challenges when transitioning to civilian life after service ends, such as unemployment, incarceration, mental and physical impairments, and homelessness.