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Santa Monica to Hold Housing Symposium Next Week

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By Lookout Staff

January 11, 2018 -- Retired U.S. Senator Fred Harris, the last living member of the Kerner Commission convened by President Johnson to investigate the causes of the 1967 race riots, will share his thoughts on Civil Rights in Housing during a symposium in Santa Monica next week.

Harris, who also voted for the Fair Housing Act of 1968, will take part in a panel discussion that focuses on the past, present and future of the federal law, which is marking its 50th anniversary this year.

The second of three free events hosted by the City Attorney’s Office, the symposium will be held Thursday, January 18, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Auditorium at the Santa Monica Main Library.

The panel "will discuss fair housing, discrimination and segregation at the federal, state and local levels," event organizers said.

The other panelists are Chancela Al-Mansour, executive director of the Los Angeles-based Housing Rights Center, and Kevin Kish, director of the California Department of Fair Employment & Housing.

The speakers also will discuss "how well the fair housing laws have fared against discrimination and segregation in the nation, California and the Los Angeles area, including Santa Monica," organizers said.

Said City Attorney Lane Dilg, "With this symposium, we learn from the past in order to step forward together in our ongoing commitment to protect fair housing for all."

The series concludes in April with the annual fair housing workshop, which features "the nuts-and-bolts of the law," organizers said.

It will be co-sponsored by Action Apartment Association and the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles.

In October, the City Attorney’s Office launched a one-minute animated video about Fair Housing which "brings to life the characters depicted in a local student’s contest-winning poster," housing officials said.

The video has more than 4,000 views and can be seen here.

The presentation at the Main Library's Martin Luther King Jr. Auditorium is open to all ages. Seating is limited and on a first arrival basis.

The Main Library is served by Big Blue Bus routes 1, 7, R7, R10 and 18 and provides bicycle parking racks.

For more information, visit or contact the Santa Monica Public Library at (310) 458-8600.


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