Fair Housing Center of West Michigan

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Speaker Bios

34th Annual Fair Housing Workshop Series, April 28, 2022

Discriminatory Appraisals

Jillian White, SRA - Head of Collateral at Better.com

Jillian White is a 19-year veteran of the appraisal industry, an SRA designated appraiser, and a former NYS Appraisal Board member. Jillian received her BA in Neuroscience and Behavior from Columbia University.  She began her career in appraising as founder and CEO of White Picket Fence Appraisals—­­­ a residential real estate appraisal company based in New York.  Her accolades include Young Entrepreneur of the Year and title as one of Ten Influential Blacks in Westchester County.  In 2016, Jillian joined Better, a digital mortgage provider, as the Chief Valuation officer and the 37th employee (now 8,000+ people).  In 2018, she was named the Head of Collateral and leads a 700-person department that consists of the appraisal, title, insurance, and project certification teams.  

Gregory D. Squires - Professor of Sociology, and Public Policy & Public Administration at George Washington University

Gregory D. Squires is a Professor of Sociology, and Public Policy & Public Administration at George Washington University.  Currently he is a member of the Fair Housing Task Force of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the Social Science Advisory Board of the Poverty & Race Research Action Council in Washington, D.C. and the Board of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in DC.  He has served as a consultant for civil rights organizations around the country and as a member of the Federal Reserve Board’s Consumer Advisory Council.   He has written for several academic journals and general interest publications including Housing Policy Debate, Urban Studies, Social Science Quarterly, Social Problems, New York Times, and Washington Post.  His recent books include, Meltdown:  The Financial Crisis, Consumer Protection, and the Road Forward (with Larry Kirsch – Praeger, 2017) and his edited book The Fight for Fair Housing Causes, Consequences and Future Implications of the 1968 Federal Fair Housing Act (Routledge, 2018). He was recently appointed as a regular columnist on community development for Social Policy magazine.

Gender Equality

Sasha Buchert - Senior Attorney at Lambda Legal

Sasha Buchert is a Senior Attorney in the Washington D.C. office of Lambda Legal, the oldest and largest organization dedicated to advancing the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and individuals living with HIV.

During her time at Lambda Legal, Sasha has been involved in extensive federal and state legislative and policy efforts on a wide range of issues including judicial nominations, criminal justice reform policy and health care initiatives. She is also litigating a number of cases expanding and solidifying federal civil rights protections for LGBTQ people. Most recently, she is counsel in Karnoski v. Trump, a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Trump administration’s ban on military service by transgender people, and is counsel in Gore v. Lee, a federal lawsuit filed in Tennessee challenging that state’s refusal to amend birth certificates for transgender people.  

Sasha has written about the legal issues facing LGBT people for publications including USA Today, Fox News, and Medium. She has appeared on the CNN, the PBS News Hour, C-SPAN, Newsy and Uprising.

Before joining Lambda Legal, Sasha served as Staff Attorney and Policy Counsel at Transgender Law Center. Sasha Buchert was the first openly transgender person to be appointed to an Oregon state board, and from 2012-13, she served as the chair of the Oregon State Hospital Advisory Board. She holds a J.D. from Willamette University. Sasha Buchert served proudly in the United States Marine Corps.

R. Tamar Hagler - Deputy Chief, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section at the Department of Justice

Ms. Hagler joined the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice over 20 years ago, and currently is a Deputy Chief in the Division’s Housing and Civil Enforcement Section.  She supervises an active docket of investigations and litigation nationwide, enforcing federal laws prohibiting discrimination in housing, land-use and zoning, and public accommodations.  Ms. Hagler graduated from George Washington University Law School and received her B.A. in Law and Society, Criminal Justice, from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

 

Housing for All

Ryan Kilpatrick - Executive Director of Housing Next

Ryan has a background in economic development, affordable housing, community design, and public finance. As the Executive Director of Housing Next, he has helped to define access to housing as a core economic development issue for West Michigan through data-oriented dialogue and partnership with employers, local municipalities, chambers of commerce, and developers. In the first four years of work, Housing Next has supported work to adjust community master plans and zoning ordinances across more than a dozen communities and has partnered with 22 different development organizations to support more than 3,400 new housing units in Ottawa County.

Prior to leading Housing Next, Ryan worked for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation where he was lead project manager in West Michigan. In that role, Ryan helped to close more than $450,000,000 worth of private investment across the region and negotiated the use of State tools to support nearly 50 projects during his 4-year tenure at the MEDC. Ryan has 16 years of experience supporting local units of government with technical assistance and best practice implementation through planning, zoning, process improvement, and the use of financial tools to create economically vibrant communities. He has a Masters in Design for Social Innovation from Kendall College of Art & Design and a B.A. in Community Development from GVSU.

Allan Lazo - Executive Director of Fair Housing Council of Oregon

Allan Lazo is the executive director of the Fair Housing Council of Oregon (FHCO), a statewide civil rights organization founded in 1990 whose mission is to end housing discrimination and ensure equal opportunity to housing. FHCO provides access to education, enforcement, and public policy advocacy. He has been a long-time community advocate for civil rights and social justice, especially in the areas of housing, homelessness, and racial equity. Allan currently serves on the City of Portland Housing Bureau’s Affordable Housing Bond Oversight Committee and served on the state of Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development Housing Rulemaking Advisory Committee. He is a long-time resident of Portland.

Race, Wealth & Opportunity

Luke Bell - Senior Manager, Government Relations & Public Affairs at Zillow

Luke Bell is a Senior Manager of Government Relations and Public Affairs with Zillow, where he works with government officials, regulatory agencies, non-profit partners and other key stakeholders to advocate for effective and equitable housing policy and technology solutions. For the previous 12 years before coming to Zillow, Luke served as an executive, attorney and government relations professional for several state and local real estate trade associations in the Midwest. Luke is a licensed attorney in the state of Kansas and graduated with a BA in Political Science from the University of Kansas and a Juris Doctorate from the Washburn University School of Law.

Tiffany King - Equity and Inclusion Officer with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority

Tiffany A. King is an Equity & Inclusion Officer at the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). She leads MSHDA’s newly established Office of Equity & Engagement. The Office is responsible for advancing internal and external equity and inclusion efforts through engagement, planning, and policy design. MSHDA’s Office of Equity and Engagement is responsible for leading the State’s effort to create Michigan’s first 5-Year Statewide Housing Plan. Ms. King has functioned as a Community Development and Technical Assistance Specialist working with rural and urban communities to promote the development of quality affordable housing. She also served as a Policy Specialist for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation where she ensured that Michigan SmartZones were properly utilizing captured revenue through tax increment financing to accelerate growth in technology-based businesses and jobs in Michigan. Additionally, she provided policy support to promote Community Development Programs such as MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities Program, Michigan Community Revitalization Program, and the Community Development Block Grant Program.\

Gwendolyn Gaines Moffitt - Civil Rights Manager with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights

Gwendolyn Gaines Moffitt joined the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) in 2008 as a Civil Rights Investigator in the Enforcement Division. During her tenure, she has investigated varied complaints of violations, including the Fair Housing Act. Gwen joined the Community Engagement Division in March 2017 as a Community Engagement Liaison. In this role, she engaged community members on behalf of the department on the west side of the State of Michigan, including Muskegon, Holland, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, and Benton Harbor. In December 2021, she returned to MDCR’s Housing Unit in the role of Housing Civil Rights Manager.

With her background in facilitating HUD/Fair Housing training programs for Respondents and Claimants, Gwen has been an annual moderator for the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan’s Fair Housing Conference in Grand Rapids.

Gwen has extensive experience working in the disciplines of Human Resources/Relations, Organization and Workforce Development, Training, Diversity, and Racial Equity. Her employer portfolio includes Reynolds Aluminum, Amway Corporation, Herman Miller, Inc., Seyfert, Spaulding, Tennyson, Inc., and Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital. Gwen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Alfred University (Alfred, NY) and a Master of Business Administration degree from Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo, MI).


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Grand Rapids, MI 49507

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