Congratulations are in order to the Altadena Branch of the NAACP for their Law Day program on May 11, 2013. The program opened with an inspirational welcome by Branch President, Jalal Sudan. The theme of the day was "Realizing the Dream – Equality for All".
The program theme was presented by a distinguished panel of speakers whose daily work is carrying out the work of making the dream of equality a reality. The Panelists for the all-day event included, among others, Tina Walker, the Regional District Administrator of the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH); and Patricia Kane, Regional Enforcement Manager for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Together, the DFEH and the EEOC represent the two most powerful agencies in the fight for equal employment opportunity, and they are in the forefront of the fight against employment discrimination. The agencies were well represented by the two knowledgeable and capable managers in Ms. Kane and Ms. Walker.
Added to the panel were two powerful administrators, Attorney Wilberta Richardson who serves as the Supervising Assistant City Attorney for the City of Los Angeles, and Judge Cynthia Loo from the Los Angeles Superior Court Juvenile Division. Much of Attorney Richardson's work is in the area of supervising the handling Civil Rights cases for the City of Los Angeles, and Judge Cynthia Loo was there to give a perspective of justice from the point of view from the bench. Other panelists included Attorney Phyllis Harris, head of the NAACP Legal Redress Committee, and this writer, to discuss civil rights from the point of view of a private attorney.
Attorney Phyllis Harris did double duty as a participating panel member and Mistress of Ceremonies for the panel. Ms. Harris and her committee deserve great credit for putting together this first class program. Committee members included Barbara Bigby, Pamela Burton, Hilarie Dyson, Nathaniel Haynes and Wilberta Richardson.
The subjects on display ranged from how to file discrimination cases with the state and Federal agencies, to getting into Court with your Civil Rights case. The event was a virtual symposium on Civil Rights history and the law of discrimination in employment as well as police abuse cases.
I must admit that I was impressed. The only regret is that more people were not there to take advantage of such a rare event. In spite of the fact that there were a number of competing events for the date, the Altadena Community Center was a full house.
Those in attendance got a full picture of the history of Civil Rights legislation that created the DFEH, EEOC and agencies such as the Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP). The only thing left to do is match this year's program next year. To the Altadena NAACP, congratulations, and to the community, with work still to be done in the Civil Rights arena, there is no time like the present to join them. The NAACP Altadena Branch phone number is: (626) 794-7999.