2021 Missouri Human Rights Conference Set to Celebrate International Human Rights Day with Speakers and Awards

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Jefferson City – The Missouri Commission on Human Rights (MCHR) will once again host the Missouri Human Rights Conference. This free, public event celebrating International Human Rights Day will take place virtually on Friday, Dec. 10, from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. CT.

Designed to highlight Missouri’s commitment that all persons are entitled to liberty, equality, and justice under the law, the gathering for attorneys, employers, human resource professionals, housing providers, human rights commissions, local jurisdictions, and community members will feature guest speakers on a variety of timely topics and an opening performance by Artist and Human Rights Advocate, Hana-li.

Kelli Douglas, General Counsel for Missouri Western State University, and Ramin Taheri, Chief of Staff for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, will lead a discussion on civil rights discrimination topics. An examination of equal opportunity issues of the COVID-19 pandemic will be held by Lloyd J. (Jack) Vasquez, Jr., District Director of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s St. Louis District Office, John C. Yang, President and Executive Director for Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC, Kristi Kingston, Owner and Operator of the Employee and Labor Law Group of Kansas City, and Andrew Metcalf, Associate for Ogletree Deakins. Lastly, a segment on bias and countermeasures will be led by Kristy Lambert, Legal Counsel for MCHR.

Additionally, three awards will be bestowed at the conference: Sheila Styron, Disability Rights Advocate for The Whole Person, will accept the Human Rights Champion Award on behalf of The Whole Person; Eric Krekel, Deputy Director of the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, and Alvin Brooks, Founder and President Emeritus of the Ad Hoc Group Against Crime, will both be honored with Lucile Bluford Lifetime Achievement Awards.

“These award winners were chosen for their commitment to protecting, preserving, and championing human rights in Missouri,” said MCHR Executive Director Dr. Alisa Warren. “Their vital work has spurred positive change across our state and serves as inspiration for us all.”

The Missouri Bar has approved 4.0 continuing legal education credit hours for the conference, including 1.0 ethics credit (1.0 elimination of bias). To register or view a detailed agenda for the conference, go to http://www.labor.mo.gov/MHRC.

In honor of International Human Rights Day, Governor Mike Parson proclaimed Dec. 10, 2021, to be Human Rights Day in the State of Missouri.

International Human Rights Day was inaugurated in 1948 when world leaders gathered at the United Nations General Assembly and adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirming the inherent dignity and inalienable rights of all people.

The MCHR is an independent commission housed in the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. It is responsible for enforcing the Missouri Human Rights Act which prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, and places of public accommodation because of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex (including sexual harassment and pregnancy), disability, age (in employment only), and familial status (in housing only). For more information about your rights and responsibilities or the MCHR complaint process, visit labor.mo.gov/discrimination.


Communications Staff

Department of Labor and Industrial Relations