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The Fair Housing Center and the Ohio Diversity Council are hosting the Ohio Fair Housing Summit on Friday, September 21, 2018 from 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Renaissance Hotel in Toledo, OH. The all-day summit will draw stakeholders from various sectors across the state to highlight the role of fair housing in fostering truly inclusive communities. Representatives from key organizations in Ohio served on a planning committee, providing input to ensure the event focuses on relevant issues happening throughout the state.

A news conference will be held in advance of the Summit on Thursday, September 20 at 10 a.m. at The Fair Housing Center, located at 432 N. Superior St., Toledo, OH 43604. Keynote speaker Richard Rothstein will be available following the news conference for one-on-one media interviews, please contact Sarah Jenkins to schedule.

2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the subsequent passing of the Fair Housing Act, presenting an opportunity to examine the persistent barriers to equal opportunity, explore the connection between ZIP Codes and life outcomes, and share solutions for creating more diverse, vibrant neighborhoods.

The all-day summit will feature keynote speaker Richard Rothstein, author of “The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How our Government Segregated America.” A research associate of the Economic Policy Institute and a senior fellow (emeritus) at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Mr. Rothstein is the author of many articles and books on race and education. His presentation will explain how segregated neighborhoods and racial disparities are the result of deliberate government policies, the effects of which can be seen decades later and must be proactively addressed in order to generate more equitable living conditions.

“Twentieth century civil rights movements abolished segregation in education, public accommodations, employment, and elsewhere, but left untouched the biggest segregation of all, that every metropolitan area is residentially segregated by race,” stated Mr. Rothstein. “Neighborhood segregation causes educational failure, racial health disparities, tragic confrontations between police and young men, and political polarization. Yet while we may consider this segregation unfortunate, we feel powerless to end it, partly because we’ve adopted a national myth that it developed privately and by accident. In truth, residential segregation was and is government created; we can begin to remedy it once we understand its origins in public policy.”

Other notable presenters and panelists include Dr. Terrell Strayhorn, Professor & Founder/CEO of Do Good Work Educational Consulting LLC; Lisa Rice, President and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance; Stephen Dane, Partner at Relman, Dane & Colfax PLLC; and Michael Marsh, President and CEO of The Fair Housing Center in Toledo. The full day’s agenda can be found in the attached document.

The event will also feature the launch of a state-wide initiative called Welcome In My BackYard, or WIMBY, a grassroots movement to foster more welcoming communities, raise awareness of diversity and inclusion, and encourage people to speak out against acts of intolerance. Attendees will be invited to take the WIMBY pledge and will receive signage and other materials to help spread the WIMBY message across the state.

“This is a unique opportunity to look at how far we’ve come in 50 years, and how far we still have yet to go to achieve real equality in housing,” stated Michael Marsh, President and CEO of The Fair Housing Center based in Toledo. “Every industry plays a role in fair housing, and it is only by working together that we can make a real impact. The neighborhood where you live determines your access to vital resources and your ability to thrive. By embracing fair housing, we can build stronger communities, where the door to opportunity is open to all.”

“Fair housing is, at its core, the most fundamental building block of a successful corporate diversity & inclusion plan,” stated Daniel Juday, Director of Ohio Diversity Council. “All of our strategies and policies to help employees feel valued and included at work are only, at best, playing catch-up if those employees do not feel like they belong or are wanted in their communities. Business leaders must educate themselves around this essential work, engage in conversations about it with those ‘on the ground,’ and seek to leverage their influence across their communities to make them better places to live and work for everyone.”

Organizers are expecting hundreds of attendees from the financial, insurance, healthcare, housing, nonprofit, real estate, government, and human resource sectors to participate. The summit will be an inspiring, informative event around all facets of fair housing. Attendees can expect to leave more informed about the issues, more connected across relevant networks, and more eager to be a part of the solution. Registration and more information can be found at

The Fair Housing Center

The Fair Housing Center will be a leading visible force in preventing and correcting discriminatory practices.

Toledo Fair Housing Center is a non-profit civil rights agency dedicated to the elimination of housing discrimination, the promotion of housing choice and the creation of inclusive communities of opportunity. To achieve our mission, the center engages in education and outreach, housing counseling, advocacy for anti-discriminatory housing policies, research and investigation, and enforcement actions.

The work that provided the basis for this publication was supported by funding under a grant with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The substance and findings of the work are dedicated to the public. The author and publisher are solely responsible for the accuracy of the statements and interpretations contained in this publication. Such interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Government.

Ohio Diversity Council

The Ohio Diversity Council is a not-for-profit employee engagement and professional development organization that seeks to create safe spaces for productive conversations around diversity, inclusion, and equity in professional spaces. We partner with nearly 100 companies across the state of Ohio to strategically plan and execute meaningful events and programming designed to celebrate diversity, practice inclusion, and advance equity. For more information on the council, please visit: