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

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

Wed, 12/02/2020

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 this year on Thursday, December 10 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:40 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. Jeffrey May, Principal at International Development and Planning, will speak about COVID-19 and Fair Housing Laws; updates on gender discrimination will be presented by Kristy Lambert, Legal Counsel for the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, Lloyd J. (Jack) Vasquez, Jr., District Director of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s St. Louis District Office, and Melissa Zarda, whose brother’s case she pursued to the U.S. Supreme Court; a segment commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act will be provided by Rebecca Bond, Section Chief for the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section and Jeanne Goldberg, Senior Attorney Advisor in EEOC’s Office of Legal Counsel; and training on eliminating bias in the legal profession will be conducted by Dr. Cameron Piercy, Assistant Professor at the University of Kansas, and Meg Reuter, Associate Clinical Professor and Director of Field Placement Programs at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, and moderated by Mischa Buford Epps, Executive Director of The Missouri Bar.
Additionally this year, three awards will be bestowed at the conference: Sheryl L. Maxwell of Lincoln University Cooperative Extension (Bootheel) will be presented with the Human Rights Champion Award; Opeoluwa Sotonwa of the Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing will receive the Judge Arnold Krekel Trailblazer Award; and Anna Crosslin of the International Institute of St. Louis will be honored with the Lucile Bluford Lifetime Achievement Award.
“These individuals exemplify the characteristics of Missourians working for positive change in our state, and their actions serve to inspire all of us,” said MCHR Executive Director, Dr. Alisa Warren.
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
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

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