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36th Annual Fair Housing Workshop Series - Fair Housing: The Bridge to Welcoming, Equitable Communities

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

The FHCWM is hosting the 36th Annual Fair Housing Workshop Series held at DeVos Place on April 18, 2024. The event will begin at 8am for check-in, networking, & light breakfast with the program beginning at 8:45am. There is a choice of 1 of 3 workshops that will begin at 9:30am.

Cost & Registration

CONFERENCE COST: The registration cost for this event is $40 per person. 

NOTE: discounted rates available at checkout and full scholarships for non-profits, students, seniors, those experiencing financial hardship, etc. Please call us to inquire about full scholarships.

**SENIOR DISCOUNT: We have a limited number of FULL scholarships available for adults 60 and older who live in Kent County. If interested, please call us at (616) 451-2980 ext. 30 and do NOT fill out the online registration form.

REGISTRATIONRegister and pay for the conference.  Registration is required and space is limited. Your registration is not considered complete until payment is received. Online registration is scheduled to close April 15, 2022 at 5:00 pm unless capacity is reached sooner.

ACCOMMODATIONS FOR GUESTS WITH DISABILITIES: Please contact the FHCWM, as soon as possible, if any accommodations are needed or note it on your registration and we will make our best efforts to meet your needs. Alternate formats of materials will be available upon request for those with disabilities.

SPONSORS: A BIG thank you to our sponsors for making this event possible! You can find sponsors listed on our website.


The Fair Housing Center of West Michigan (FHCWM), a private, non-profit fair housing organization committed to preventing and eliminating housing discrimination and to ensure equal housing opportunity through education, outreach, research, advocacy and enforcement, is hosting the 36th Annual Fair Housing Workshop Series at DeVos Place (Grand Rapids, MI) on April 18th at 8:00 am - 11:30 am.

DETAILS: The Fair Housing Center of West Michigan is hosting the 36th Annual Fair Housing Workshop Series, which will be held online on Thursday, April 18, 2024 from 8am – 11:30am. The event will begin at 8am for check-in, networking, & light breakfast with the program beginning at 8:45am. There is a choice of 1 of 3 workshops that will begin at 9:30am. Workshop choices include The State of the American Dream, Understanding & Addressing Lending Disparities, and Ensuring Welcoming, Equitable Communities. Conference cost is $40; with discounted tickets available as well as scholarships for Kent County adults 60+ and others. Please reach out to our office for information on scholarships.

You can find more information about the event here:

WORKSHOPS: You will have your choice of 1 of 3 exciting workshops (see below). Bios for speakers can be found here.

  • The State of the American Dream
    • A combination of still-high mortgage rates and home prices amid historically low housing stock continues to put homeownership out of reach for many—most notably first-time buyers. This workshop will offer an inside look at legislative and other work underway to address equitable access to housing, understanding the impact of and best practices for expanded Michigan sexual orientation and gender identity protections, and proactively thinking about fair housing compliance through a fair housing enforcement lens. Featuring Rep. Kristian Grant (Michigan House of Representatives House District 82), Sandi Smith (2024 President of the Michigan Realtors®, Trillium Real Estate), and Marlene Cain (Director of Investigations, Michigan Department of Civil Rights).  Note: Continued Education credits granted for Realtors (1 hour fair housing & 1 hour legal).
  • Understanding & Addressing Lending Disparities
    • In recent years, there has been increased attention on racial and ethnic disparities in mortgage lending. News outlets have covered racial lending disparities in neighborhoods where Black and Latine residents make up the majority and the US Justice Department announced an initiative to combat modern redlining.  This workshop will provide an in-depth look at fair lending laws, historical and modern redlining, current cases and model programs such as Special Purpose Credit Programs and other solutions to begin to address the many harms caused by unequal access to credit. Featuring Sara Pratt (Counsel, Relman Colfax), Shanti Abedin (Vice President of Housing and Community Development, National Fair Housing Alliance), and Annie Schira (Investigations Manager, Fair Housing Center of West Michigan).
  • Ensuring Welcoming, Equitable Communities
    • With the current state of housing feeling unattainable, unpredictable, and unfair to many community members, advocates and countless others are often wondering what more they can do.  This workshop will inspire attendees to think about ways they can actively work to promote inclusive and welcoming communities and help overcome the legacies of segregation and redlining. Featuring Cashauna Hill, Executive Director of The Redress Movement, which works to repair the harm caused by those legacies by researching, educating, mobilizing communities, and more.  It initially emerged in response to Richard Rothstein’s book, The Color of Law, which documents the origins of housing segregation. Joining the panel is Brady Ripperger (Deputy Director of Administration and Advocacy, Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana) who will share model efforts informed by, and undertaken as a result of, their enforcement successes; and Barbara Lee VanHorssen (Founder and Experi-Mentor of the Momentum Center) who will share about local efforts on engaging intentionally with marginalized communities.

*Please note that the workshops and/or speakers may be subject to change.

8:00 am - Check-in, Networking & Light Breakfast
8:45 am - FHCWM Event Program featuring welcoming remarks and awards presentation
9:30 am - Choice of 1 of 3 Workshops
11:30 am – Concludes

Please note that the schedule may be subject to change.


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