Fit for a King Summit History

2019: Building the Movement

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The 12th annual Fit for a King conference, Building the Movement, featured community organizers, leaders, and advocates who spoke about movement building and how to take action for housing justice. Our keynote speaker was Diane Nash, a founding member of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee and one of the pioneers of the Civil Rights Movement.

As a movement leader, Ms. Nash shared lessons learned from her extensive community organizing history and how to apply practices from the strategy of non-violence to grow the movement for fair housing.

2018: Fifty Years of Fair Housing

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The 11th annual Fit for a King conference, 50 Years of Fair Housing, featured panels and sessions celebrating the achievements made in the 50 years since the Fair Housing Act was passed, and discussing the future of Fair Housing moving forward. Our keynote speaker was Bree Newsome, community organizer and activist who removed the Confederate Battle Flag from the South Carolina State House in 2015.

As a recognized and celebrated voice on the topics of injustice and racial discrimination, Bree brought to light the importance of leadership development in building and sustaining social movements.

2017: Defending the Dream

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The 10th annual Fit for a King conference, Defending the Dream: The Future of Fair Housing, featured panels and sessions to acknowledge the recent housing victories and discuss how to further advance housing justice in the coming years. Our keynote speaker was Nikole Hannah-Jones, acclaimed New York Times Magazine journalist.

Hannah-Jones has written extensively on the history of racism and inequality, school resegregation and the disarray of hundreds of desegregation orders, and the decades-long failure of the federal government to enforce the landmark 1968 Fair Housing Act.

2016: Bringing Justice Home

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GNOFHAC’s 9th annual Fit for a King conference, Bringing Justice Home: Fair Housing in an Era of Displacement and Growing Inequality, featured interactive discussions of strategies for expanding housing access and equal opportunity in Louisiana and addressed the intersections of housing and issues such as education, criminal justice, and climate justice.

Internationally renowned civil rights activist, Ms. Angela Davis, delivered the keynote speech.

2015: Looking Back, Looking Forward

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The 8th annual, Fit for a King conference theme was Looking Back, Looking Forward: 20 Years of Fair Housing and celebrated the Center’s 20th anniversary. Our keynote speaker was the acclaimed civil right activist and leader, Julian Bond.

Beginning with his pivotal role in the Civil Rights Movement, Julian Bond – an expert on diversity in the law – was on the cutting edge of social change and leadership. Legendary as the first black US vice presidential nominee and former Chairman of the NAACP, Bond continued to deliver a powerful message of equality, freedom, and justice until his death on August 15, 2015.

2014: Are We Winning the Struggle to End Segregation?

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The 7th annual Fit for a King conference theme was Are We Winning the Struggle to End Segregation? This conference investigated the progress our country has made towards integration, the consequences of continued segregation on our communities, and how federal law and policy have been used to perpetuate segregation both historically and today. The conference closed with an interactive session about the possibility of integrated neighborhoods, how they can be sustained, and ways to advance housing choice locally as well as in the upcoming state legislative session.

The summit analyzed the state of residential racial segregation on a local and national level. Experts from around the country led breakout sessions and panel discussions examining the intersections between racial segregation and environmental justice, gentrification, education, voting rights and public policy.

2013: Disparate Impact

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The theme for Fit for a King 2013 was 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. Disparate impact analysis is a vital tool for civil rights advocates to have in their quest to build equity. However, the concept has seen recent challenges, including a renewed attack on the concept by the banking industry. Fit for King 2013 explored the use of disparate impact as a tool in the areas of criminal justice, education, and housing.

2012: Women and Fair Housing

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Fit for a King 2012 was entitled Women & Fair Housing, and was held at the Tulane Hillel on January 13, 2012.  The summit examined the gendered impact of discriminatory housing policies and practices on the lives of women and marginalized communities.  The conference also highlighted the importance of approaching housing policy, fair housing enforcement, and urban planning with an understanding of the intersecting impacts of gender, race, space, income, and related factors.  The event was keynoted by Professor Anita Hill, Esq, who shared her new book Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race & Finding Home. 

2011: Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing

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 Fit for a King 2011 was held at the First Grace United Methodist Church and featured a conversation about Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing as a Holistic Vision for Healthy Communities.  The event was keynoted by Sara Pratt. 

2010: Red Lines and Keep Out Signs

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 Fit for a King 2010 featured a summit called Red Lines & Keep Out Signs keynoted by Beryl Satter, author of Family Properties: Race, Real Estate, and the Exploitation of Black Urban America.  The weekend also featured a restaurant fundraiser and a book signing event with Ms. Satter. 

2009: Advocates' Training and Community Power Day

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Fit for a King 2009 featured an Advocate’s Training and a Community Power Day.  At the Advocate’s Training, participants attended workshops on envisioning whole neighborhoods, framing your message, utilizing the media, and using the law.  The event was keynoted by Melissa Harris-Perry.  Community Power Day featured screenings of documentary films about housing justice issues.

2008: First Annual Fit for a King Summit

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 Fit for a King 2008 was held at the Lindy Boggs Convention Center and featured a Teach-In event on Saturday, January 19th, and a Dine-Out restaurant fundraiser on Monday, January 21st.  The event was keynoted by Melissa Harris-Perry.