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U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom will speak on immigration enforcement and civil rights during the third annual Statewide Civil Rights Symposium Friday, Aug. 9, at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park.
“We need to take a pragmatic approach to immigration enforcement that makes efficient use of our resources and recognizes the human rights of an estimated 11 million undocumented workers in this country,” Grissom said.
Grissom will be one of several speakers at the free, day-long event focusing on federal civil rights enforcement in Kansas. Featured speaker for the event will be Gretchen Eick, professor emeritus of history at Friends University. She will draw upon her book, “Dissent in Wichita: The Civil Rights Movement in the Midwest, 1954-1972,” when she speaks. Through protests such as the sit-in at the Dockum Drugstore in Wichita in 1958, civil rights advocates applied pressure leading up to the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Grissom said this is the third year in a row his office has sponsored the symposium. The U.S. Department of Justice is responsible for upholding the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans. It enforces federal statutes prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, disability, religion, familial status and national origin.
Other presentations during the symposium will include a panel discussion on civil rights with panelists U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom; Gary Brunk, executive director of the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri, and Thomas Witt, executive director of the Kansas Equality Coalition.
The symposium is free and open to the public, but anyone who wants to attend must register. A registration form and more information is available on the U.S. Attorney’s Web site at www.justice.gov/usao/ks
Sponsors for the event include the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri, the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center, the Public Safety Training Center at Johnson County Community College and the Regional Community Policing Training Institute at Wichita State University.