Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Creating Opportunity Conference Overview

Fairness in the Work Place, the Marketplace and the Public Square 

Creating Opportunity Headliners and Legends

Doug Shipman, Keith Parker, Roger Bobb, G G Dixon, Joseph Leonard,
Horace King, Clarence Pope, Larry West, Richard Applebee, Chuck Kinnebrew, Tommy Dortch, Terrez Thompson, Rita Samuel, Byron Perkins,
Hank Stewart, Patricia Smith, The Wardlaw Brothers, Johnnie Booker
and Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. 

The Rainbow PUSH Coalition and the Citizenship Education Fund will host their 14th Annual Creating Opportunity Conference in Atlanta, November 1-2 at the Hyatt Regency, 265 Peachtree Street, 30303.  This year’s conference agenda focuses on financial literacy, business growth and development, job creation, civil rights enforcement and the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). 

The purpose of the conference is to promote fairness in contracting, hiring, retention and promotion, as well as fair terms and conditions in purchasing, lending and investment.  The conference will also inspire youth and their parents to take advantage of every opportunity to achieve the highest potential. 

Rainbow PUSH has worked with hundreds of families across the nation to avoid foreclosure and retain their homes.   It also pushed progressive ideas such as  the infrastructure bank, student debt forgiveness and principal reduction to spread the recovery throughout the economy beyond Washington and Wall Street. 

The Conference also presents Financial Literacy, featuring Wells Fargo’s Hands On Banking Internet-based curriculum, to promote neighborhood stabilization and home retention.  According to RPC Vice President Janice Mathis, “we are working on three fronts:  we aim to improve public policy at the state and federal levels; promote urban and rural economic development and job creation and help families and congregations escape or avoid poverty by making sure they have as much knowledge as possible.  Federal investment is designed to spur economic recovery, but without participation by unemployed persons and underutilized firms, the stimulus cannot achieve its purpose.  According to Rev. Jackson, “we cannot just water the leaves, we must also stimulate the roots to revive the economy.” 

Small business owners will get a bird’s eye view of how investments in critical infrastructure creates contracting and job opportunities from some of the largest public and private players including MARTA, Georgia Power Co. and the Coca-Cola Company.   G.G. Dixon and Moanica Caston, two executives on the rise, will speak at the Business Breakfast on Friday morning.  

A session on Voting Rights is being led by noted Birmingham lawyer Byron Perkins (Coca-Cola and John Deere) because the right to vote is under attack and defines the  freedoms, obligations and rights enjoyed by all Americans. 
Students will get a roadmap to “Life Beyond the Playing Field and the Stage” under the direction of Dextor Clinkscale, former safety for the Dallas Cowboys. RPC will recognize the contributions of Horace King, Clarence Pope, Larry West, Richard Applebee, Chuck Kinnebrew, the class of African Americans who were the first scholarship athletes to play for the storied University of Georgia.  A special surprise guest will be on hand as well.   

Also on Saturday, Axel Adams will facilitate the Youth Summit, as a new generation of leaders takes the stage to discuss solutions to issues that uniquely impact young people, including Hip-hop culture, violence and bullying.  Emory University, Georgia Tech and other colleges and universities will participate in the annual College Fair.   

On Friday, the Jesse Jackson Public Policy Institute will present a public policy roundtable, focused on state and local government.  Participants include Charleston, South Carolina state representative Dave Mack and Louisiana Black Caucus Chair Patricia A. Smith.  Racial profiling, voter id, gun control, financial aid, health care are all dictated to some degree by state legislation and local ordinances.  Fairer government requires broad engagement.  The session will take on the issue of the State of the Southern Rainbow.  In the wake of recent conservative political gains, regional leaders will discuss the fate and future of the progressive agenda.  

The following persons will be honored for their contributions to civic and economic life during the conference Keep Hope Alive Gala:  Dr. Joseph Leonard, Assistant Secretary of the USDA for Civil Rights and Tommy Dortch.  

The Wardlaw Brothers and the Jean Childs Young Middle School Jazz Band will perform at the Keep Hope Alive Gala which celebrates Rev. Jackson’s birthday and benefits the work of RPC, CEF and families facing economic insecurity. 
For More Information, call 404 525 5663 or visit  www.rainbowpushatlanta.org





Wednesday, September 4, 2013


EEOC Limits Use of Criminal History in Employment Decisions

To Read the Entire EEOC Enforcement Guidance, visit


The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued guidance to employers regarding the consideration and use of conviction records in making employment decisions.  According to the EEOC, the guidance is designed to “consolidate and update” the use of arrest or conviction records under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

According to the Guidance, “the fact of an arrest does not establish that criminal conduct has occurred, and an exclusion based on an arrest, in itself, is not job related and consistent with business necessity. However, an employer may make an employment decision based on the conduct underlying an arrest if the conduct makes the individual unfit for the position in question.”

*                          This provision has been used in our practice to restore employment to a person who has been accused, but not convicted, of a criminal offense. 

*                          The Guidance goes on to compare disparate treatment and disparate impact.

A violation may occur when an employer treats criminal history information differently for different applicants or employees, based on their race or national origin (disparate treatment liability).

*      An employer’s neutral policy (e.g., excluding applicants from employment based on certain criminal conduct) may disproportionately impact some individuals protected under Title VII, and may violate the law if not job related and consistent with business necessity (disparate impact liability).

*      National data supports a finding that criminal record exclusions have a disparate impact based on race and national origin. The national data provides a basis for the Commission to investigate Title VII disparate impact charges challenging criminal record exclusions.

Properly applied these policies should result in considerable relief to persons whose criminal histories have impeded the search to obtain and keep good employment.