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Justice News

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

Friday, July 31, 2015

Ferguson “Peacemaker” To Speak at Kansas Civil Rights Symposium

TOPEKA, KAN. - A federal peacemaker who spent months working with community and police in Ferguson, Mo., will be a featured speaker at the U.S. Attorney’s Kansas Civil Rights Symposium in Topeka.

The symposium is set for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 14 in the auditorium of the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site at 1515 SE Monroe in Topeka. There is no charge to attend, but registration is required.

Rita Valenciano, a conciliation specialist with the Justice Department’s Community Relations Service (CRS), will speak on how the agency works to build stronger relationships between police departments and communities. She was a member of the CRS team that went to Ferguson, Mo., following the death of Michael Brown in August 2014.

“Rita and other representatives of the Community Relations Service are our peacemakers,” said U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom. “They don’t investigate or prosecute. They work to build mutual understanding.”

Registration is still open for the symposium, but seating is limited to 100.  The symposium annually attracts law enforcement officers and civil rights leaders from across Kansas. Other topics will include human trafficking and a presentation on the Americans with Disabilities Act by Anthony Fadale, ADA Coordinator for the State of Kansas.

To register, download the registration form at:

Email the completed form to For more information, contact Heather Buller at 620-694-1537 or Jim Cross at 316-269-6552.

Updated July 31, 2015