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Orfield Selected for National Commission on Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity

JULY 11, 2008—Myron Orfield, Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota Law School and Director of the Institute on Race & Poverty, was recently appointed to be one of five commissioners to the National Commission on Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.

Created to address housing discrimination and residential segregation across the country, the National Commission will be co-chaired by two experienced leaders in housing policy and urban development: Henry Cisneros and Jack Kemp.

The other commissioners are Okianer Christian Dark, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Howard University College of Law; Gordon Quan, former mayor pro tem and chair of the Housing Committee for the city of Houston; Pat Combs, past president of the National Association of Realtors; and I. King Jordan, president-emeritus of Gallaudet University.

The National Commission will hold four one-day regional hearings throughout the summer to collect information and take testimony on illegal housing discrimination, related government policies and practices, and the effects on communities.

Hearings will open with a statement from one or more of the commissioners on local and regional issues, and witnesses will speak about government policies and other practices that perpetuate housing discrimination and segregation in the region. In December 2008, a report summarizing the testimony and outlining recommendations for action will be released.

The first hearing will be July 15 in Chicago. The National Commission will host a dinner the preceding night to welcome commissioners and staff.

A half-day hearing will be held in Houston on July 31, in conjunction with the annual National Bar Association conference, focusing on problems on the Gulf Coast since the hurricane. The remaining full-day hearings will be in Los Angeles on September 9, in Boston on September 22, and in Atlanta on October 17.

Hearings will be available via streaming video at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/national-commission-on-fair-housing.

The National Commission on Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity was created through the partnership of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the National Fair Housing Alliance, and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.


Myron Orfield

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