AALRR Hosts 2nd Annual Civil Rights Conference


Nearly 150 Civil Rights, Education, and Public Policy Leaders Meet to Advance Healthy and Discrimination-Free Campuses and Workplaces

Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo (AALRR) hosted its 2nd Annual Civil Rights Conference, “A Shared Commitment to Equity and Inclusion,” at the Anaheim Marriott on September 12 and 13, 2019 where nearly 150 education and public sector leaders from across California came together with a common purpose—to gain practical knowledge and insight on how best to promote a discrimination-free classroom and workplace.

During this two-day, innovative conference, AALRR attorneys, invited civil rights and constitutional law experts, and other education leaders provided key information, legal guidance, and practical tools to conference attendees on how best to comply with federal and state anti-discrimination laws and constitutional protections.

On Thursday, September 12th, Thomas Saenz, President and General Counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), served as the conference keynote speaker and addressed the critical importance of the 2020 Census and ensuring everyone is counted.  Eugene Whitlock Assistant Vice Chancellor-HR/Chief Human Resources Officer, UC Berkeley, kicked off the conference earlier in the day with a keynote on advancing equity in recruitment and hiring in public entities and the role that implicit bias may have in preventing the achievement of this goal.  On Friday, September 13th, Sylvia Mendez, Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient and Civil Rights Activist, delivered special remarks about the significance of Mendez, et al. v. Westminster, et al., in ending de jure segregation in California and the role that education continues to play in bringing about a more perfect democracy.

Conference participants included the former Regional Director and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education, in addition to Title IX Coordinators, EEO Compliance Officers, Human Resources Professionals, charter school leaders, in-house legal counsel, and other public entity leaders and policy-makers charged with the responsibility of complying with our civil rights laws and representing California’s school districts, community colleges, universities, and other public agencies.

Conference sessions addressed critically important civil rights issues facing California and the nation today, including Title IX compliance, protecting the rights of undocumented and LGBTQ students, preparing for the 2020 Census, understanding the scope of First Amendment rights on campus, advancing equity in discipline, and promoting equitable hiring practices.

AALRR Partner and Conference Chair, Irma Rodríguez Moisa commented, “This year’s civil rights conference reflects AALRR’s strong and continued commitment to working with our clients and other stakeholders to promote a healthy and discrimination-free school and work environment.  I was inspired to see so many leaders from school districts, community colleges, universities, and other public entities at this year’s conference, many of whom told me that the conference topics were timely and that the information provided was invaluable.”  Ms. Rodríguez Moisa further commented, “I am also grateful for the civil rights and education leaders who participated in and enriched our conference sessions by sharing their legal expertise, insight, and powerful stories on critically important issues of equity facing our state and nation today.  I look forward to AALRR’s next civil rights conference and witnessing the positive impact it will continue to make for our clients and the communities they serve.”

About Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo

With 40 years of unwavering commitment to client service, AALRR is one of California’s leading law firms. Our diverse team brings a seasoned perspective to California’s complex legal landscape for public and private entities, with particular strength in the areas of education, labor and employment, construction, complex litigation, corporate, taxation, and white collar law. Our public sector clients include more than 400 K-12 school districts, community college districts and universities, as well as cities, counties and special districts. We also represent diverse business entities, from small, family-run businesses to publicly traded corporations. At 195 lawyers and growing, AALRR has nine offices in Cerritos, Fresno, Irvine, Marin, Pasadena, Pleasanton, Riverside, Sacramento and San Diego to serve our clients throughout California. For more information about AALRR, visit our website at www.aalrr.com and sign up for our blogs, EdLawConnect, CA Public Pensions Law, Business Law Journal, Labor & Employment Law, and Labor Relations Law.


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