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City to hold fair housing/civil rights summit April 24

The City of Kansas City, Mo., Human Relations Division of the City Manager’s Office is celebrating National Fair Housing Month with a fair housing/civil rights summit on April 24. The event, which begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Embassy Suites Hotel, 220 W. 43rd St., is open to the public, but reservations are required by April 20. The theme for the event is “Protecting Civil Rights in a Time of Economic Crisis.”

The Civil Rights Section of the City’s Human Relations Division is partnering with the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to sponsor the event, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is underwriting the summit.

“It is important to ensure that even during difficult economic times, citizens’ civil rights are still protected,” said Mickey Dean, manager of the Civil Rights Division. “Sometimes during extraordinary circumstances people think that civil rights requirements may be circumvented. For example, with all of the dollars flowing as a result of the economic stimulus and foreclosure prevention, we have to be sure that people who are traditionally left out get their fair share.”

Mayor Mark Funkhouser, City Manager Wayne A. Cauthen and City Councilmember Sharon Sanders Brooks are scheduled speakers, and councilmembers Beth Gottstein, Cindy Circo and Terry Riley plan to attend.

Hilary Shelton, director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Washington D.C. bureau is the keynote speaker for the event. Shelton will speak at 10 a.m. The summit also includes other speakers and workshops during the afternoon session.

The summit also will feature:
- Nikitra Bailey – vice president of External Affairs for the Center for Responsible Leading in Durham, N.C. Bailey has done extensive research and writing on the impact of predatory lending.
- Cokethea Hill – community organizer for Mayor Mark Funkhouser’s New Tools Initiative and board member of the Kansas City, Missouri School District.

Workshops during the event include: Avoiding Fair Housing Violations in Real Estate Transactions; Foreclosure: What You Don’t Know Might Hurt You; New Developments in Discrimination Law; and Ex-Offenders as a Protected Category Under Kansas City’s Civil Rights Laws. A complementary lunch will be provided.

Reservations for the summit should be sent to Shelion Durant at (816) 513-1812 or at

For more information, contact Greta Wills at (816) 513-1816.

City News Releases - 2009

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