The Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) is proud to announce that Lani Guinier, Bennett Boskey Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, will serve as keynote speaker at the Center’s 6th Annual Fit for King Celebration on January 18, 2013. Professor Guinier will address conference attendees during a keynote luncheon at the Lindy Boggs International Conference Center. Details of the conference agenda are available here. Fit for King Celebration 2013 is free and open to the public, but registration is required. There will be a cocktail reception fundraiser immediately following the conference- all funds raised will go to support the programs of GNOFHAC.
Lani Guinier, a civil rights attorney, became the first black female tenured professor at Harvard Law School when she joined the faculty there in 1998. Prof. Guinier first came to public attention in 1993 when then President Clinton nominated her to head the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice, and then withdrew the nomination without a confirmation hearing. Clinton acted in the face of a media firestorm generated by inaccurate and unfounded criticism about her views on democracy. Professor Guinier has written five books and co-founded the Racetalks Initiative, a research and public education project that seeks to develop new interdisciplinary paradigms for linking racial and gender justice to the project of building more inclusive institutions. Prof. Guinier was assistant counsel for and head of the Voting Rights Project for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in the 1980s and worked in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department in the late 1970s.
Fit for King Celebration is GNOFHAC’s annual tribute to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Each year, GNOFHAC staff organizes a series of events- trainings, seminars, film screenings, and concerts- to educate the community about fair housing, celebrate the Civil Rights Movement, and inspire change. The theme for Fit for King 2013 is “Disparate Impact: A Vital Tool for Building Equity.” Disparate impact analysis is an established legal doctrine that civil rights advocates use to help enforce laws like the Fair Housing Act. Disparate impact arguments usually rely on statistical analysis to demonstrate that a policy that may seem facially neutral actually has a disproportionate effect on a protected group of people. Fit for King 2013 will explore the use of disparate impact as a tool in the areas of criminal justice, education, and housing.
GNOFHAC Executive Director James Perry comments, “We are pleased to be able to bring Professor Guinier to share her important insight and perspectives about civil rights matters with our community in New Orleans.”