MI Response To Hate: 2014


Click here to Register

A Conference Presented by The Michigan Alliance Against Hate Crimes


The Michigan Department of Civil Rights

Friday, November 14, 2014

MSU Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center

East Lansing, Michigan

For eight years, we have brought you to the table with award winning speakers and engaging programming. We have great things in store, including training, speakers, workshops, and opportunities to connect with community members from across the state. It’s all about bias prevention and response efforts statewide.

Who Should Attend

Training Attendees; Local Community Response Teams; Legal & Judicial Community; Crisis Responders & Counselors; Diversity Trainers; Educators & School Administrators; Civil Rights Organizations & Advocates; American Indian Tribal Leaders; Faith-Based Leaders; Healthcare Professionals; Emergency Services Providers; Law Enforcement Professionals; Human Relations Commissions; Media; Social Workers & Therapists; and Victim Advocates.

Program Schedule

7:30 AM – 8:30 AM      Registration/Breakfast

8:30 AM – 10:00 AM     Opening PlenaryKeynote Speaker Mark A. Potok, Senior Fellow, Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and Editor-In-Chief, Intelligence Report magazine.  As one of the country’s leading experts on the world of extremism, Mark will inform us about the “state of hate” crimes from the vast experience of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

10:00 AM – 10:15 AM   Break

Click here to Register

10:15 AM – 11:30 AM  Concurrent Workshops

Gold Star Cities:  Measurable Change for Driving Diverse Communities
Michelle Gahee Kloss, J. D., Not In Our Town, Director of Community Engagement
Your town can be a beacon of light for communities everywhere.  The NIOT Gold Star Cities initiative recognizes NIOT communities that are making an ongoing commitment to safety, respect, and diversity for all.  These selected cities receive focused support, including training, mentorship, and peer-to-peer exchanges.

Victims of Hate Crimes:  Unique Needs
Dennis Potter, Manager, Consultant Relations and Training, Crisis Care Network, & Jessica Barton, MSW Intern, GVSU
We have frequent conversations about hate crimes, preventing them, and prosecuting the perpetrators.  This workshop will focus attention on the impact of hate crimes on the target of those crimes, the victims.  We will explore the emotional, physical and spiritual toll, and then some helpful hints for helping the victims tap into their natural resilience to “bounce back.”

Individuals Most Vulnerable:  Hate Crimes Involving Individuals with Disabilities
Carolyn Gammicchia & Andrew Gammicchia, Executive Directors, L.E.A.N. On Us
This session is designed to dispel myths about disability and provide information about the prevalence of abuse, victimization, and the increase in hate crimes against individuals with a disability.  Case studies and available trainings for crime victim professionals and those who support individuals will be covered.  Information, resources, and materials from initial investigation to prosecution and for appropriate trauma supports are also reviewed.  The Gammicchias will also provide an overview of resources from the National Center for Criminal Justice and Disability and current legislation applicable to prosecution of these types of cases.

Hate Crimes:  Legal Framework, Investigations, & Strategies
Miriam Zeidman, Midwest Region, Civil Rights Counsel, Anti-Defamation League
The Anti-Defamation League will address the unique nature of hate crimes, discuss the state and federal laws on hate crimes and their constitutionality, explore the difference between hate crimes and bias incidents, and provide strategies for investigating hate crimes and working with victims.

Practicing Solidarity:  Challenging Oppression and Leveraging Privilege
Yvonne Siferd, Director of Victim Services, Leah Taraskiewicz, Victim Advocate Equality Michigan
Hate crimes are tools of oppression, and are often used to establish and/or perpetuate hierarchical power and privilege.  Let’s get to the root of the oppressive systems in which we are all participants and learn how to leverage our privilege to create a more equitable world.

11:30 AM – 11:45 AM   Break

11:45 AM –1:00 PM      Luncheon Plenary

1:00 PM – 1:15 PM         Break

Click here to Register

1:15 PM – 2:30 PM    Concurrent Workshops

Building Relationships and Engaging with Sikh Americans:  Bridging Cultural Divides
Daedra A. Von Mike McGhee, Conciliation Specialist, U. S. Department of Justice, Community Relations Service Manager; Members of Sikh Society of Michigan
Through panel discussion with Sikh Society of Michigan members this training will address who Sikhs are with an overview of their culture, lifestyle, and cultural protocols.  The training will provide participants with an opportunity to strengthen partnerships that are necessary for stronger community capacity and to foster understanding and enhance outreach capabilities to Michigan Sikh communities.

Compassion Fatigue:  Highly Resilient, Yet Highly Exposed
Judy Beahan, LMSW, Director, Clinical and Network Operations, Crisis Care Network
Those who choose to serve others during painful traumatic psychological and physical injury tend to be highly resilient.  While we continue to be wise and intentional, we must also recognize that while we are highly resilient, we are also highly exposed.  This cumulative effect or a “really difficult” case can contribute to compassion fatigue and professional burnout, especially if we don’t keep our wits about us and stay intentional in good self-care.  This session goes beyond reminding us of the basics and explores a paradigm of staying strong that includes emotional regulation, meaning making, personal narrative, and growing through adversity.

The Challenge of Citizenship:  A Community Approach to Fighting Bias and Hate
Paul R. Sheridan, West Virginia Civil Rights Attorney and Activist
Whether you are a law enforcer or a community activist, you may have been frustrated by the realities of a “community approach” to fighting hate.  Is the investment of effort in a collaborative approach really the best way for you to “get the job done?” Can civil rights activists and law enforcers really be “on the same team?” This workshop will cover some critical considerations in answering those questions with a “yes,” and it will examine some strategies for improving effectiveness in civil rights partnerships.

A World of Difference:  A Primer Experience
Harry Weaver, Education Director, Anti-Defamation League Michigan
This breakout will give an overview of ADL’s World of Difference training that is designed to help participants recognize bias and the harm it inflicts on individuals and society; build understanding of the value and benefits of diversity; improve intergroup relations; and confront racism, anti-Semitism and all other forms of bigotry.

The Bundy Ranch & The Problem of Extremist Standoffs:  A Case Study
Mark Potok, Senior Fellow, Southern Poverty Law Center, and Editor-in-Chief, The Intelligence Report
Mark Potok will share experiences from recent incidents around the country, including The Bundy Ranch standoff, as well as examine best practices for community responses to hate.

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM       Closing Plenary: Leading Through Crisis
Not In our Town Community Engagement Director, Michelle Gahee Kloss, will provide a plenary workshop to explore the benefits of community response in the wake of bias and hate crime incidents and best practices and challenges during times of crisis.  Joining Ms. Kloss is Oak Creek, WI Mayor Steve Scaffidi, where in August of 2012, his community had the horrific incident at their Sikh Temple where six people died, and several others were wounded.

As in the past, there is no cost to attend for registered participants.  Click here to register!

Free parking is also provided.



Facebook LogoDon’t forget to LIKE us on Facebook at


You can also FOLLOW us on Twitter at