ADL’s Southwest Region will present a Centennial Hate Crimes Conference from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 17 at the state Capitol in Austin, featuring a former Department of Justice prosecutor, ADL’s National Civil Rights Director, a U.S. attorney and Austin’s Police Chief.
Keynote Speaker Professor Mark Kappelhoff teaches at the University of Minnesota School of Law, and spent 14 years in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. Professor Kappelhoff was instrumental in the passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a law that strengthened federal prosecution and penalties for hate crimes in 2009.
His speech will be followed by a panel including Kappelhoff, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas Robert Pitman, and Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo. The panelists, moderated by ADL National Civil Rights Director Deborah Lauter, will examine hate crimes, hate crime laws and the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes from each participant’s perspective.
The final session of the conference will be a special training for law enforcement on the importance of reporting hate crimes and ways to make it easier to report them.