A summit coordinated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Ohio, the Ohio Latino Affairs Commission, the Ohio Asian American and Pacific Islander Advisory Council, and the Columbus Community Relations Commission.

What’s the big idea?

connecting communities

Join us to learn how our agencies are helping New Americans and their communities understand and use civil rights laws that protect them from unfair treatment and discrimination.

After listening to folks in New American communities statewide, we are bringing together leaders to talk about your rights on your job or when you look for work, when you rent or buy housing, when people suffer or are threatened with violent hate crime, and in your dealings with police, sheriffs and other law enforcement.  We will educate, communicate, and collaborate!

Our goal is to bring together those who have immigrated to Ohio from places all over the world to understand their rights, learn best practices, and work together to create better communities for all.

What are civil rights?

You have the right to equal justice and equal opportunity under U.S. and Ohio laws.  You cannot be discriminated against because of your national origin, race, color, religion, whether you are married or have children, sex, or disability.  

Laws that cover national origin make it illegal to discriminate based on a person’s birthplace, ancestry, culture, or language.  This means people cannot be denied equal opportunity because they or their family are from another country, because they have a name or accent associated with a national origin group, because they have limited English ability, or because they participate in certain customs.

The federal, state, and local agency representatives can answer questions and find the right government and community agencies to help you protect those rights.

The Agenda

1-1:55pm:  Protecting Civil Rights: Know Your Rights & Responsibilities

Carter M. Stewart, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio

Juliet K. Choi, Chief of Staff & Senior Advisor, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights

Michael Payton, Director of Ohio Civil Rights Commission


2-2:50pm: Track 1 – Knowing Your Employment Rights

Nelson Hewitt, Equal Opportunity Specialist, CRC

Keith McNeil, Director of Operations/Regional Counsel, Ohio Civil Rights Commission

Cynthia Stankiewicz, Acting Director of the Cleveland Field Office, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission


Track 2 – Knowing Your Language Rights

Julia Arbini, Board member, Ohio Hispanic Coalition; commissioner, CRC


3-3:50pm: Track 1 – Knowing Your Responsibilities: Addressing Hate Crimes

Kenneth L. Parker, Chief of Criminal Division of U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Ohio 

Rebecca Nelson, Bias Assessment and Response Team, The Ohio State University; member, OAAPIAC and CRC

    Track 2 – Knowing Your Responsibilities: Addressing Domestic Violence

Tonia Lake, Training and Technical Assistance Director, Ohio Domestic Violence Network

Inna Simakovsky, immigration attorney


4-4:50pm: Track 1 – Protecting Civil Rights: Police Misconduct and Racial Profiling

Cassandra Robinson, Senior Community Safety Specialist and Iris Roley, The Urban League of Greater Cincinnati Community Police Partnering Center

SSA Eric Thomas, FBI 

    Track 2 – Protecting Civil Rights: Knowing Your Housing Rights

Lisa Hasegawa, Executive Director, National Center for Asian Pacific Islander Community Development

Eduardo Gesio, Equal Opportunity Specialist, Chicago Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, Department of Housing and Urban Development


5-6pm: Where do we go from here?

An invitation to an optional coalition-building meeting, led by Ron Katsuyama


Protecting Civil Rights Town Hall Meeting

April 23

1 to 6 p.m.

The Riffe Center

77 S. High St.

1 to 6 p.m. 

April 23, 2013

South Room B & C

The Riffe Center, 31st floor

77 S. High St.

Columbus, Ohio 43215

Register here for this free event!

Check out more information.