Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Members of the Kansas State NAACP meet with Tom Perez; Assistant Attorney General and head of the DOJ Civil Rights Division

Several members of the Kansas State Conference of the NAACP and regional activists attended a meeting with Tom Perez; Assistant Attorney General of the United States and head of DOJ Civil Rights Division, to discuss the strengthening of the agency's Civil Rights enforcement efforts. In attendance were Kevin Myles; President of the Kansas State Conference, Henry Lyons; President of the Olathe Branch, Katrina Robertson; President of the Johnson County Branch, Loris Jones; State Conference Education Committee Chair, Former State Conference President Charles Jean-Baptiste, and Mary Ann Flounder. Also in attendance Nimrod Chapel; Political Affairs Chairman for the Missouri State Conference, Marvin Szneler of  the Jewish Community Relations Bureau, Gwen Grant of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City, Mona Lee Perry of the American Indian Council, Alvin Sykes of the Emmett Till Justice Campaign, Jessica Piedra of the Coalition of Hispanic Organizations,  and several representatives of the US Attorney's Office and the Kansas City Human Relations Department.

The Kansas State NAACP Delegation called for the agency to focus additional attention on:
  • Child Welfare disparities in removal and reunification rates
  • Non-Compliance of States with the National Voter Registration Act of 94
  • Unitary Status/Re-segregation and the inequitable distribution of talent and teaching experience in recently desegregated districts
  • Ricci Vs DeStephano and its impact on Title VII enforcement
  • Wren Vs the United States and why we believe statistical Racial Profiling data rises to the level of a 14th amendment claim
  • The underfunding of Public Defender's offices and the resulting effect on poor and low income peoples ability to obtain adequate representation
  • And Employment Discrimination; namely how shifting interpretations of the term "similarly situated" creates a practically insurmountable standard that makes racial discrimination cases almost impossible to win.
We were also given direct contact numbers for the registering of complaints and in the coming days, we will be re-filing complaints that were overlooked or dismissed by the previous administration; foremost among these - the case of Rowana Riggs...

Nimrod Chapel, Political Affairs Chairman of the Missouri State NAACP, presented a detailed synopsis of the Heather Ellis case with a request for follow-up from the DOJ. NAACP National Board member Anita Russell and Missouri State Conference President Mary Ratliff were scheduled to attend but were delayed in their return from the rally for Heather Ellis in Kennett Missouri...

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