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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Kansas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 11, 2014

U. S. Attorney Barry Grissom To SpeakAt Civil Rights Symposium Wednesday At WSU

WICHITA, KAN. U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom will speak to open the U.S. Attorney’s Fourth Annual Statewide Civil Rights Symposium Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014, at Wichita State University.

“Law enforcement has a key role to play in building a society that allows all people to fully realize their potential,” Grissom said.

A report on racial profiling produced by Wichita State University will be one of the highlights of the day-long conference, which is expected to draw civil rights advocates and law enforcement officers from across the state. Michael Birzer, Director of WSU’s School of Community Affairs, will speak on racial profiling and the results of a study for the City of Wichita showing that during a six-month period African-Americans accounted for 22 percent of the people receiving traffic violations in Wichita. African-Americans make up about 11 percent of the city’s population.

The conference will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Room 132 at WSU’s Metropolitan Complex at 5015 E. 29th North. It is free and open to the public, but enrollment is required. Registration forms are available online at the U.S. Attorney’s Web site: http://www.justice.gov/usao/ks/    

The symposium also will include:

  • A look at the federal Community Relations Service, which provides mediation, facilitation and training on federal civil rights issues.
  • A presentation on hate crimes by the FBI.
  • A civil rights panel discussion moderated by U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom. Panel members will include Hussam Madi, spokesperson for the Islamic Society of Wichita; Holly Weatherford, advocacy director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas; Wade Moore, president of the Greater Wichita Ministerial League; and Thomas Witt, executive director of Equality Kansas.

The U.S. Department of Justice is responsible for upholding the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans. It enforces federal statutes prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, disability, religion, familial status and national origin.

Sponsors for the symposium include the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Midwest Criminal Justice Institute at WSU, the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center, the School of Community Affairs at WSU and the Regional Policing Training Institute at WSU. 

For more information, call Jim Cross, public information officer, at 316-269-6552.