City to host Civil Rights/Fair Housing Summit April 25

city-hallThe city is making plans for its annual civil rights summit on April 25, featuring keynote speaker  Jeff Johnson, award-winning journalist and former BET host.

This will be the sixth annual summit, which is held annually in April to commemorate Fair Housing Month.  It will explore the accomplishments of the civil rights movement since President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and issues that confront the movement today.

According to the city, Jeff Johnson is an award-winning journalist, communications specialist and thought leader. Johnson is a partner and chief of strategy for the Baltimore-based branding firm Illume Communications. Previously, Johnson worked as a BET network host/producer and an MSNBC contributor. He also served as national director for the NAACP’s Youth & College Division and as the vice president of the Hip Hop Summit Action Network. He currently provides regular content on and the nationally syndicated Rickey Smiley Morning Show.

Johnson will speak during the lunch hour. Lunch will be provided at no cost to attendees who preregister.

The summit’s morning speaker will be Will Jordan, executive director of the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing Opportunity Council. The council works to ensure equal access to housing for all people through education, counseling, investigation and enforcement. He has also served as hearing officer for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, regional trainer for the Missouri Division of Youth Services and community outreach coordinator for the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis. He is a member of Stand for Children’s grassroots organizing initiative.

In addition to the speakers, the summit will also feature a panel led by local judges discussing youth civil rights issues, an insightful presentation on hate crimes, a workshop on employment law, and a documentary film on the history of local political organizations.


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