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Friday, October 01, 2010

U.S. Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez Explores Civil Rights

SALISBURY, MD---The nation’s leading civil rights enforcer is celebrating Constitution Day and Latino Heritage Month at Salisbury University.

Thomas E. Perez, the assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, will speak about “Civil Rights in 2010 and Beyond” at 2 p.m. Friday, October 15, in the Great Hall of Holloway Hall.

A first-generation Dominican American, Perez is one of the highest-ranking Latinos in the federal government.  Since his appointment in October 2009, he has worked to transform the division to advance equal opportunity, level the playing field and protect the rights of all citizens.

Having spent his entire career in public service, Perez previously served as secretary of Maryland’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, an agency that safeguards consumer and worker protections.  In 2002, he became the first Latino elected to the Montgomery County Council.

Earlier in his career, Perez was an attorney in the Civil Rights Division he now leads, prosecuting some of its highest-profile civil rights cases.  He served as deputy assistant attorney general for civil rights under Attorney General Janet Reno, and was a principal adviser to the late Senator Edward Kennedy on civil rights, criminal justice and constitutional issues.  During the Clinton administration, he directed the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Perez earned a bachelor’s degree from Brown University, as well as a master’s of public policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a juris doctorate from Harvard Law School.  He lives in Maryland with his wife, Ann Marie Staudenmaier, an attorney with the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, and their three children.

Co-sponsored by the President’s Office, Fulton School of Liberal Arts and Institute for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement (PACE), the lecture is part of SU’s recognition of Constitution Day, which is September 17.  The event is also sponsored by the Diversity Office as part of SU’s Latino Heritage Month celebration, which runs September 15-October 17. 

The talk is free and the public is invited.  A reception will follow.  For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.



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