Helping LGBTQ Communities Build Local Capacity to Address Conflicts

Track: Lead by Example
Workshop Block 3 – Saturday, October 26 – 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Room: Big Joe Turner B

The Department of Justice Community Relations Service (CRS) supports LGBTQ communities interested in building local capacity to address conflicts, bias incidents, and hate crimes based on gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation. CRS works with LGBTQ groups – as well as law enforcement, schools, faith-based organizations, government agencies, civil rights organizations, and others – to address local issues that impact LGBTQ individuals and the broader community. This workshop includes an overview of CRS’s services, such as training for law enforcement on working with transgender communities, hate crime forums, facilitated dialogues, mediation, and public event planning, and case studies and will highlight best practices and resources available to participants. CRS services are free, confidential, and voluntary. CRS staff are impartial conciliators who do not investigate or prosecute.

Presenter Bios

Mildred I Duprey de RoblesMildred I. Duprey de Robles, Department of Justice Community Relations Service

In March 2008, Mildred Ivette Duprey de Robles joined the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Community Relations Service -  the Agency assigned to enhance the ability of the Justice Department to mediate and conciliate during tense situations where the good offices of the Federal Government are called upon to assist. As a Conciliation Specialist, she performs her duties from the Miami Field Office, supporting the Agency’s mandate to strategically assist communities across the nation to promote peaceful resolution of conflicts and tensions arising from differences of race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion and disability defined by the establishment of Title X of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the passage mandated by the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009.  In her capacity, Mildred is responsible to work with State and local units of government, private and public organizations, civil rights groups, and local community leaders to help uncover the underlying interests of all of those involved in the reported community based conflict by seeking for levels of cooperation and good faith agreements to facilitate the development of sustainable and viable peaceful resolutions. Her commitment to alternative dispute resolution is seasoned with bilingual skills and an understanding of cultural diversity and inclusion that have contributed to the use of mediation and resolution during events when she has been assigned to provide inter-regional and inter-agency support. Prior to her assignment to the Community Relations Service, Mildred had practiced in the area of human relations and conflict resolution for 29 years.  She had served as a commissioned officer with the U.S. Air Force as a Personnel Officer and Mission Support Squadron Commander.  Shortly after her retirement from active duty, she joined the Troops for Teachers Program and became a teacher in high risk schools in Durham and Chapel Hill, North Carolina, respectively.  For 13 years, she performed as a freelance mediator, coach, and equal opportunity investigator in North Carolina, Georgia and Florida, mediating Supreme, State and Magistrate court assigned cases, as well as special education and family mediation cases. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Mildred graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with high honors and was awarded a commission with the U. S. Air Force.  She completed her Masters in Human Resources Development and Counseling from Webster University in Missouri and initiated PhD level studies in Public Administration with LaVerne University in California.   She is a distinguished graduate from the Department of Defense Equal Employment Institute and an U.S. Air Force award recipient in the field of equal opportunity. Mildred is a mother of 6 adult children and a grandmother of three.  She has been in a partnership and marriage relationship with José Luis Robles for over 40 years.

2019 Convention - Theresa Segovia

Theresa Segovia, Department of Justice Community Relations Service

Theresa Segovia is the Associate Director of the Community Relations Service (CRS) at the U.S. Department of Justice, with responsibility for national field operations. Created by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and expanded by the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, Theresa leads a team of skilled conciliators to mitigate community tensions based on race, color, national origin, gender, sex, sexual orientation, religion and disability, and to support local efforts to develop stable, inclusive, viable communities. Prior to joining CRS, Theresa was a member of the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, Criminal Section. She began her career as the human trafficking investigator for the Criminal Section, and had collateral duty as the Victim Witness Specialist and served as a peer reviewer for grant making offices for several federal agencies that supported the 40 federal human trafficking task forces throughout the nation.

Rita ValencianoRita Valenciano, Conciliation Specialist, Department of Justice Community Relations Service 

Rita Valenciano began her work as a U.S. Department of Justice/Community Relations Service (CRS) Conciliation Specialist, in the Kansas City, MO Region VII office in 2008,  She has provided CRS resources and services to community, school districts, civil rights organizations, state and local government officials and leaders throughout Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas.  As a CRS conciliator, Rita has mediated community issues creating tensions based on race, color and national origin and worked with impacted communities, officials and leaders to respond to and prevent recurrence of bias incidents and hate crimes.  Trained by the American Arbitration Association as a mediator in 1978, Ms. Valenciano coordinated mediation activities at the Neighborhood Justice Center (NJC), a division of the City of Kansas City, MO Community Services Department. Later, as a supervisor in the City’s Human Relations Department (HRD), she co-authored HRD’s mediator training manual and facilitated numerous volunteer mediator trainings. Prior to joining CRS, Rita provided mediation and related consultant services, and also implemented a family support and education program as Executive Director of a nonprofit which provided services to predominantly Spanish speaking families in Wyandotte County, Kansas.  She is a University of Missouri – Kansas City graduate with degrees in Sociology (B.A.) and Public Administration (M.P.A.).

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