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City hosts Fourth Annual Civil Rights/Fair Housing Summit

The City of Kansas City, Mo., Civil Rights Division of the Human Relations Department will hold its Fourth Annual Civil Rights/Fair Housing Summit, “Mass Incarceration: The New Frontier in the Fight for Civil Rights,” on Friday, April 27 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The summit will be held at the City’s Southeast Community Center, 4201 E. 63rd St. This event is held annually in April in commemoration of Fair Housing Month.

This year’s summit will critically examine issues facing the large number of imprisoned citizens and ex-offenders, focusing on problems ex-offenders face when trying to secure employment and housing.

“Practically everyone either has a family member or knows someone who is an ex-offender,” said Mickey Dean, assistant to the director in the Human Relations Department. “People know how difficult it is having that ex-offender label attached to you for a lifetime.”

Nicole Porter, state advocacy coordinator with The Sentencing Project based in Washington, D.C., will be the keynote speaker. The Sentencing Project is a national organization that encourages more effective and humane alternatives to prison for criminals. The luncheon speaker will be Gregory King, the acting director of the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, a division of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The summit will also host a panel discussion highlighting specific obstacles ex-offenders face regarding employment and housing. Participants on the panel, which will include an employer and a housing provider, will discuss how they work with ex-offenders to overcome those obstacles, and how barriers to employment and housing can be removed.

The summit will also address voter suppression, fair housing and predatory payday loans.

Lunch will be provided at no cost but preregistration is required. The summit is free and open to the public.

Any person with a disability who desires reasonable accommodation to attend this meeting may contact the City’s 311 Action Center at 311 or 816-513-1313, or for TTY, 816-513-1889, or by e-mail at

To register or to learn more about the summit, along with a complete itinerary, visit or call 816-513-1842.

For more information or media inquiries, please contact Mickey Dean at 816-513-1836.


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