Civil Rights Conference focuses on civic engagement in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of passage of the Voting Rights Act

(HOUSTON, TX 9/16/14) — A diverse group of community activists and civil rights organizations has joined forces to organize the 2014 Civil Rights Conference.  The conference, held in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Voting Rights Act, will take place on Saturday, September 20, at the University of Houston, Science and Engineering Building, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

WHAT: Houston Civil Rights Conference

WHEN: Saturday, September 20, 2014, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

WHERE: University of Houston, Science and Engineering Building (SEC), 3500–3578 Cullen Blvd., Houston, TX 77004

The conference will focus on an array of issues including immigration reform, civic engagement and voting activism and will include training in community organizing, navigating the American electoral system and utilizing social media to reach voters.

“Our communities face many challenges in today’s political climate,” said Bill Crosier of the Houston Peace and Justice Center. “By organizing, we can leverage the power that our community already has to ensure that our civil rights are protected, not only for ourselves, but for future generations as well.”

Conference organizers also hope to generate a call to action after key pieces of the Voting Rights Act were struck down by the Supreme Court in 2012.

“It seems that some in this country are committed to undoing the hard-won gains of the civil rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s by arguing that the law is no longer necessary,” said Pedro Blandon of the Texas Civil Rights Project. “They claim this at the same time that young black men are being gunned down in the street and mostly Latino immigrant children and families are being imprisoned right here in Texas.”

The evening before the conference, the Houston premiere of “Neshoba: The Price of Freedom” will be held. The documentary tells the story of a Mississippi town still divided about the meaning of justice 40 years after the murders of civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner in the summer of 1964. Director Micki Dickoff will be present at this screening, to be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, September 19 at the University of Houston, Science and Engineering Building (same location as the conference).


CONTACT: David Atwood, Houston Peace and Justice Center (832)693-5710

Ruth Nasrullah, Council on American-Islamic Relations-TX (713)585-6314

For more information visit

Participating Organizations Include:

Council on American-Islamic Relations

Houston Peace and Justice Center

Texas Civil Rights Project

ACLU of Texas

Texas Criminal Justice Coalition

Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

South Texas Center for Human Rights

Greater Houston Coalition for Justice

Black Heritage Society

Center for the Healing of Racism

SHAPE Community Center


End Mass Incarceration Houston

Middle East Student Association

Mi Familia Vota

Students for Justice in Palestine

Texans Together/VoteRiders

Texas Organizing Project


Houston Immigrant Rights Organizing Committee

KPFT Radio

UH Muslim Student Association

University of Houston

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