Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon will visit Los Angeles on Monday, April 14, to participate in two panel discussions on the importance of civil rights in education. The first panel is at 11:30 a.m. at the Mendez Learning Center. The panel is hosted by the Brothers Sons Selves Coalition and titled "Youth-Powered Change: Improving School Climate." Lhamon and youth leaders will talk about effective models and policies that support boys and men of color. She will also discuss the administration's efforts to reduce racial disparities in the classroom and President Obama's new initiative, My Brother's Keeper, aimed at creating pathways to success for men and boys of color. The initiative will focus on using results and evidence to evaluate what works—and stop what doesn't—to improve opportunities for at-risk youths, all within existing federal resources.
The second panel is at 5 p.m., at University of California, Los Angeles and titled "Access in Education: Why Civil Rights in Schools Still Matter." During the panel, Lhamon will brief participants on the recently announced Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) and the recent school discipline guidance released by the Departments of Education and Justice. The CRDC offers the first comprehensive look at civil rights data from every public school in the country in nearly 15 years. The Office for Civil Rights surveyed all 97,000 of the nation's public schools and its 16,500 school districts—covering 49 million students. Other panelists include Gary Orfield, UCLA Civil Rights Project, and Hiroshi Motomura, UCLA School of Law. The session will be moderated by Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, dean of UCLA's Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. The event is part of the Dean's Distinguished Speaker Series at UCLA's Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.
Lhamon leads the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights, whose mission is to ensure equal access to education and promote educational excellence throughout America through vigorous enforcement of civil rights.