Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

2016 DOT Civil Rights Virtual Symposium

Speaking with One Voice: Accelerating Access to Opportunity

March 8-10, 2016

Speaking with One Voice: Accelerating Access to Opportunity was a three-day virtual event that connected stakeholders and perspectives across the civil rights transportation community. The target audience included Federal and State employees; DOT stakeholders; EEO, Diversity & Inclusion, and Civil Rights professionals; and members of the public with an interest in transportation and civil rights topics. Presentations took place in virtual web conference meeting rooms.

Opening Remarks from U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx

Welcoming Remarks from Leslie M. Proll, Director, Departmental Office of Civil Rights, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation

Closing Remarks from U.S. Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Victor Mendez

Track 1: Accelerating Application of External Civil Rights Principles

What new or emerging technologies could potentially impact the way people, goods, and services are transported, and how do we ensure accessibility to and inclusiveness of these new transportation systems and projects? This track focuses on federal regulations, guidance, and oversight procedures for civil rights programs that require State compliance, such as: Title VI non-discriminatory programs, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, Limited English Proficiency, Environmental Justice, and Accessibility for People with Disabilities.

Building Transportation Equity: Identifying Title VI Issues Throughout the Transportation Project Cycle

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Lead Civil Rights Analyst, US Department of Transportation, Departmental Office of Civil Rights

Jonathan Ocana, Equal Opportunity Specialist, US Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration

The panel will feature a conversation with two leading experts in Title VI investigations at DOT. They discuss the importance of Title VI compliance and how Title VI impacts the various stages of a transportation project or program based on their experiences.

Lessons Learned in NEPA and Environmental Justice

Helen Serassio, Special Counsel, US Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration

Suzi Ruhl, Senior Attorney Advisor, US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Environmental Justice

Significant progress is underway in improving the effective, efficient, and consistent consideration of environmental justice in the NEPA review process. Co-Chairs of the Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice’s NEPA Committee highlight methodologies for considering environmental justice in NEPA reviews garnered from the Working Group and discuss Environmental Justice at the Department of Transportation.

The Real Cost of DBE Fraud

Michelle McVicker, Principal Assistant Inspector General for Investigations, US Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General

The Department’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program is designed to remedy ongoing discrimination and the continuing effects of past discrimination in federally-assisted transportation contracting markets. Fraud costs American taxpayers money and damages the program overall. The DOT Office of Inspector General discusses the real costs of fraud and identifies things certified DBEs can do to prevent it.

Connecting Primes to DBEs: Effective Supplier Diversity Policies and Procedures

L. Jay Burks, Senior Manager of Supplier Diversity, Comcast Corporation

Kyron Robinson, Founding Member and Managing Partner, ProRank Business Solutions, LLC

Contract Equity Professionals discuss the interaction of personal dispositions with behavioral and environmental factors. They describe analysis of innovative DBE Supportive Service programs and the important contributions they make to economic development and entrepreneurship.

ADA Accessibility: Expectations and Responsibilities Across the Transportation Network

Regina Morgan, Director of Civil Rights, US Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Patrick Gomez, Civil Rights Specialist, US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration

Dawn Sweet, Program Manager, US Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration

A panel of practitioners will explain ADA requirements and provide examples of planning/design/implementation done well. The DOT encourages a paradigm shift from ADA compliance being a “box check” to being embedded in the planning and design processes.

ADA Transition Planning - An Innovative Approach

Nathen Harp, GIS-Transportation Analyst, New York State Department of Transportation, Policy and Planning Division

All State and Local government entities in the US are required to have an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Transition Plan. The New York State Department of Transportation presents on their innovative use of college student interns and geographical information system (GIS) data to complete their inventory sidewalks and curb ramps.

508 Compliance: Ensuring Accessible Technology and Information

Maria Roat, Chief Technology Officer, US Department of Transportation

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires federal agencies provide accessible electronic and information technology so that all users, regardless of disability status, can access technology. The DOT 508 Coordinator discusses best practices to use when acquiring new technology and designing information to be shared electronically, and highlights activities within DOT to improve its compliance.

Meaningful Language Access Under Title VI

Alyssa Lareau, Trial Attorney, US Department of Justice, Federal Coordination and Compliance Section

The provision of language assistance services to limited English proficient (LEP) individuals is a key component of Title VI enforcement. This session will discuss recent developments in case law, settlements, and agency Guidance and Rulemaking.

Track 2: Accelerating Application of Diversity and Inclusion Principles

Connecting the entire American public with opportunities is enhanced when the public workforce reflects the public it serves. This track focuses on the relationships and interconnectedness that are needed in order to achieve strategic organizational goals pertaining to equity, fairness, and inclusiveness in transportation projects and workplaces.

How to Achieve a Diverse and Inclusive Team

D'Lynn Jacobs, Intercultural Competence, Diversity and Inclusion Training Specialist, Peace Corps

Tonja Ancrum, Affirmative Employment and MD-715 Manager, US Department of Defense, Defense Commissary Agency

The more we include all employees in activities in the workplace, the more satisfied the whole team is. OPM certified "Master Game Changers" demonstrate how small changes can lead to big results, and challenge participants to identify how they can be change-makers in their own organizations.

LGBT Workplace Inclusion

Sharon Alexander, Administrative Judge, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Federal Sector Hearings Program

Recent years have seen many changes in the way lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons are treated under the law and in our society. The Federal government has been a leader in recognizing equality for LGBT employees, and continues to strive to be a model employer in this realm. In this session, an EEOC administrative judge explains the legal framework for understanding claims of employment discrimination by LGBT persons, and discusses tools and resources for diverse federal workplaces seeking to foster a positive working environment for all employees, including LGBT employees.

Schedule A: Streamlined Federal Government Hiring of People with Disabilities

Stephen Garcia, Transportation Specialist, US Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Duronne Walker, Departmental Selective Placement Coordinator, US Department of Transportation, Departmental Office of Human Resource Management

Elisa Allen, HR Specialist and Selective Placement Coordinator, US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration

A multi-faceted panel discussion on the federal Schedule A hiring process for persons with disabilities. Learn what to expect, and how to get started with, the process of Schedule A hiring from an HR professional, hiring manager, and an employee brought on with Schedule A.

Looking Back to Forge a Way Forward: What the Montgomery Bus Boycott Can Teach Us About Leading Change

Marcia Ledlow, Faculty Member, Federal Executive Institute, Center for Leadership Development

This year we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The boycott may seem like long ago history, in what is a faraway place for many webinar participants, but the lessons of the boycott can actually teach us a great deal about how to lead change today. This webinar will explore one approach to leading change and how the boycott leaders masterfully used and sustained this approach over the long months of the bus boycott to bring about dramatic change.