News and Press Releases

Head of Justice Department's Civil Rights Division
To Kick Off Civil Rights Symposium Friday



June 7, 2011

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – The chief of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division will be in Kansas City, Kan., Friday to address the U.S. Attorney’s Civil Rights Symposium.

Thomas Perez, Assistant U.S. Attorney General, will be the featured speaker at the Civil Rights Symposium. Perez appeared last week before the U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee in Washington, D.C., to report on his efforts to restore and transform the Civil Rights Division.

“Tom is going to help us get our first Civil Rights Symposium in Kansas off on the right foot,” Grissom said. “He shares with us a passion for protecting and defending the rights of individuals who might not be able to assert those rights on their own.”

Perez will speak 8:30 a.m. Friday, June 10, at the Reardon Convention Center, 520 Minnesota, in Kansas City, Kan. His speech is open to the media. Reporters who want to request interviews with Perez should contact Jim Cross, public affairs officer, at 316-269-6552.

The agenda for the all-day Civil Rights Symposium includes:

A presentation by Sheriff David O’Malley of Laramie, Wyoming, who will talk about his experiences during the Matthew Shepard murder investigation. Shepard was tortured and murdered in 1998 by attackers who perceived he was gay. The case helped give rise to the Matthew Shepard and James J. Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
A panel discussion on fostering cooperation between civil rights groups and law enforcement agencies
A presentation on human trafficking investigations prepared by federal prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Missouri.
A presentation on the Americans With Disabilities Act.
A presentation by the federal Community Relations Service.

The conference is being sponsored by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Participants will include law enforcement officers and civil rights leaders from across Kansas.

The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited and all participants must register in advance.

For more information, visit or email



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