5th Annual Iowa Civil Rights Symposium and 2nd Build It Right IOWA Conference

Friday, October 27, 2017 - 8:00am

5th Annual Iowa Civil Rights Symposium and 2nd Build It Right IOWA Conference

Event Details

The Iowa Civil Rights Commission will hold its 5th Annual Iowa Civil Rights Symposium and 2nd Build It Right IOWA Conference on Friday, October 27, 2017 at 8:00 a.m. at the Meadows Events and Conference Center, 1 Prairie Meadows Drive, Altoona, Iowa 50009. The event schedule and registration information are available below.

Attorney Continuing Legal Education

This event is approved for six (6) federal CLE credits and six (6) hours of state CLE credit, including one (1) hour of ethics credit.

Hotel Availability

A block of rooms is available on a first-come-first-served basis at the Prairie Meadows Hotel and Casino, adjoining the Meadows Events and Conference Center. You may reserve a room by doing one of the following:

  1. Call (515) 957-3000 and reference the group block: IA Civil Rights Symposium
  2. Go to https://www.prairiemeadows.com/ and use the group code: 10272017IAC

Reservations under this block of rooms must be made by Friday, October 6, 2017.

Event Registration

You may register by doing one of the following:

  1. Contact Matthew Femrite at (515) 242-6138 or matthew.femrite@iowa.gov.
  2. Go to https://goo.gl/forms/x2vybX2AqohHH8142 and complete the online registration form
  3. Download a copy of our registrigation form at https://goo.gl/Nb4gAE. Mail the completed registration form to:

    Iowa Civil Rights Commission
    Attn: Heidi Johnson
    Grimes State Office Building
    400 E. 14th St.
    Des Moines, IA 50319-0201

Online registration will close on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. In addition, if you mail a registration form, it must be received by Wednesday, October 25, 2017. If you have any questions about registering for this event, including whether your registration was received, please contact Matthew Femrite at (515) 242-6138 or matthew.femrite@iowa.gov.

Registration Fee

To be ensured lunch and event materials, payment of your registration fee must be received no later than 4:30 p.m. on October 20, 2017. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that you will receive lunch and event materials if your registration fee is received after 4:30 p.m. on October 20, 2017. Payment may be made by check or cash. Individuals seeking continuing education credit pay $100. Government employees and all others pay $30. Please return payment to: 

Iowa Civil Rights Commission 
Attn: Heidi Johnson 
Grimes State Office Building 
400 E. 14th Street 
Des Moines, IA 50319-0201

If you have any questions about the registration fee, please contact Matthew Femrite at (515) 242-6138 or matthew.femrite@iowa.gov.

Event Schedule

Time Employment General Housing
8:00 - 8:30


8:30 - 9:30

Step By Step: Filing a Complaint with the ICRC

An overview of the ICRC complaint process, including what to expect when a complaint is filed and the relationship between state and federal civil rights law.

I, TOO, AM AMERICA: Reintegrating the Punished into American Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

An overview of federal and state civil rights law on the use of arrests and conviction records in employment and housing.

Build It Right Iowa Conference: Design and Construction Accessibility Requirements under Federal and State Law

An overview of the seven ICRA and FHA Design and Construction Requirements - addressing common deficiencies, practical solutions for implementation of those requirements, and the procedure for detecting and remedying deficiencies.

There are two 90 minute sessions with a 10 minute break in between the sessions.

9:35 - 10:35

Agency Alphabet Soup: Which Letters Are Right for You?

This panel will discuss the intersection of the laws governing civil rights complaints, unemployment insurance benefits, and workers’ compensation benefits. Panelists will include experts from each of these agencies.

We Don't Need No Discrimination: An Overview of Discrimination Issues in Education

An overview of federal and state civil rights laws in the area of education.

10:35 - 10:45 Break
10:45 - 11:45

Don't Get Mad, Don't Get Even: Retaliation Claims under Anti-Discrimination Law

An overview of retaliation claims under the ICRA and federal anti-discrimination statutes, including recent EEOC guidance on retaliation claims.

Civil Rights Case Law Update

A discussion about civil rights case rulings from federal and Iowa courts. This presentation will recap case law developments over the past year that are of interest to civil rights advocates and attorneys.

11:45 - 1:00 Lunch
1:00 - 2:00

A Working Definition: The Scope of Employee and Employer Terms under Title VII and the ICRA

Discussion of federal and state cases defining the scope of terms determining who can sue and who can be sued under Title VII and the ICRA. It will also discuss various affirmative defenses under the ICRA.

LGBTQ 101: A Panel Discussion on LGBTQ Issues in Education

This panel will discuss real-world issues faced by LGBTQ students, how federal and state laws and regulations apply, and how schools navigate these issues. Panelists include a student, a teacher, and legal experts.

Who let the dogs IN? . . . . . And did they have to??

Discussion of the differences between service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act and assistance animals under the Fair Housing Act.

2:05 - 3:05

Navigating Disability Law Before & During Employment

Discussion of pre-employment screenings, reasonable accommodations, and an employer's request for medical records under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Iowa Civil Rights Act, and applicable case law.

The Role of African American Music in the Fight for Civil Rights 

University of Iowa music professor Dr. Damani Phillips and his combo will use musical performances to illustrate his discussion of the influence of African American music on the civil rights movement.

The Title about Titles: A General Overview of Title VIII and the ICRA

Discussion of the ICRC's housing discrimination process, a general overview of housing discrimination law under both the ICRA and Title VIII, and housing settlement agreements.

3:05 - 3:15 Break
3:15 - 4:15


Navigating conflicts, competence, and confidentiality under applicable ethics rules governing attorney conduct.

‡ Not approved for federal CLE credit.

Event Location: 
The Meadows Events and Conference Center
1 Prairie Meadows Drive
Altoona, IA 50009