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Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana Celebrates Black History Month

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The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) celebrates Black History Month this February and honors the civil rights leaders who have pioneered integration in the United States.

“The Civil Rights Act of 1866 made it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of race or color in any housing transaction,” said Amy Nelson, Executive Director of the FHCCI. “Fair housing has been an integral part of African-American history since the earliest days of our nation.

The later passage of the federal Fair Housing Act in April 1968 added needed enforcement power to address racial discrimination in housing.”

The FHCCI is pleased to announce a civil rights pioneer will be coming to Indianapolis. Carlotta Walls LaNier, the youngest of the Little Rock Nine, will be the keynote speaker of the FHCCI’s second annual fair housing conference, to be held during Fair Housing Month on April 17, 2014.

In 1957, at age 14, Carlotta Walls LaNier was the youngest Little Rock Nine member to integrate Central High School. Despite her youth, Mrs. LaNier understood the impact of education in a promising future. Inspired by Rosa Parks and the desire to get the best education available, she enrolled in Central High School.

Anger and violent behavior threatened the students’ safety and motivated President Dwight D. Eisenhower to dispatch the Army’s 101st Airborne Division to protect their constitutional rights. Mrs. LaNier’s first book, A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High School, is a gripping memoir which offers an inside look at the most famous school integration in American history, and the courage and faith required to survive it all. Mrs. LaNier is also a recipient of the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal and the Congressional Gold Medal, among other awards and designations.

“The FHCCI is extremely excited to welcome a ‘foot soldier for freedom’ to Indianapolis,” continued Nelson. “Black History Month is a time to recognize the quiet and unsung people who have brought profound change and equality to our society. Too often, we do not acknowledge the work that has been done to make our nation more just and equitable. We are honored to feature a figure as accomplished and trailblazing as Mrs. LaNier.”

This year’s fair housing conference theme will be “Building Inclusive Communities Through Fair Housing.” In addition to Mrs. LaNier’s keynote, attendees will have a choice between 8 topic specific workshops on fair housing issues. With twenty sponsors and still growing, the conference has tremendous community support, including such organizations as: Affordable Housing Association of Indiana, Back Home in Indiana Alliance, Central Indiana Community Foundation, City of Indianapolis, Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention, CSH Indiana, Easter Seals Crossroads, Immigrant Welcome Center, Indiana Apartment Association, Indiana Civil Rights Commission, Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities, Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority, Indiana Legal Services, Indiana Protection & Advocacy Services, Indiana Public Health Association, Kennedy King Memorial Initiative, La Plaza, Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic, Rebuilding Together Indianapolis, and the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.

The Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana (FHCCI) is a private, non-profit fair housing organization founded in 2011 and based in Indianapolis, Indiana. Its mission is to ensure equal housing opportunities by eliminating housing discrimination through advocacy, enforcement, education and outreach.

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