Fair housing is more than rights and penalties and a list of dos and don’ts. Fair housing protects our livelihood. The 19th Annual Fair Housing Symposium will feature information on current trending topics and what the future may look like in this area, as this year’s theme is “The Future of Fair Housing.” Lunch is provided, and we’ll have raffle prizes up for grabs!
Workshops and speakers throughout the day include:
- Future Challenges of Fair Housing
- Fair Housing 101 and Tenant Rights
- LGBTQ discrimination and Housing
…plus time for Q&A, and much more!
The Tampa Bay Fair Housing Consortium has put together this amazing day of learning for real estate agents, housing providers, property managers, attorneys, government officials, apartment personnel, renters, homeowners, and the general public.
- Bridges 4 Life CEO, Tahtianna Fermin
- MGT Consulting’s Director of the DEI Practice, Dr. Lamont Browne
- Gulfcoast Legal Services Housing Unit’s Managing Attorney, James Kushner
- Pinellas County Office of Human Rights’ Director, Jeffrey Lorrick
- Chief Tech Equity Officer, Michael Akinwumi
Be one of the first IN PERSON attendees to arrive and receive a FREE BOOK!
Tahtianna Fermin is the founder and CEO of Bridges4Life, a nonprofit organization which works to help teens and young adults on street and in foster care become responsible, self-sufficient, confident and educated adults. Bridges4Life provides housing, preparation for adulthood, prevention services, and assists young people in negotiating aging-out services within the foster care system. Bridges4Life’s works within existing programs and resources to leverage new opportunities for the teens and young adults involved in sex work and other sectors of our community. the program empowers social change to develop local strategies for agencies of urban services.
Tahtiana is also a member of The National LGBTQ Workers Center’s NYC chapter, serving on the Center’s National Board as its New York Liaison. A community activist since 2008, Tahtianna has been a Community Follow-Up Worker (CFW) at Housing Works Inc., a recovery coach and patient navigator at The Alliance For Positive Change, amongst other initiatives, as well as speaking at the Presidential debate in 2008 for Barack Obama.
She’s an ordained minister, model, choreographer, activist, wife, mother and most importantly an Afro-Latina Black Trans Woman & sister of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Dr. Lamont W. Browne has 20 years of experience working as a change agent for society and organizational improvement in various communities and organizations. He currently serves as the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Solutions for MGT, a social impact-driven national public-sector consulting firm . Prior to this work, Dr. Browne worked as a public school educator serving as a math teacher, principal, adjunct professor, district administrator, and charter school CEO. His primary focus is helping people and their organizations achieve results that matter by developing high-functioning teams who work collaboratively to implement strategic systems that enhance organizational performance - particularly for the advancement of traditionally marginalized peoples and communities. A nationally recognized leader in education, Lamont has won numerous awards for his leadership, including the prestigious Ryan Award, presented by the Accelerate Institute for demonstrating exceptional leadership in closing the achievement gap in urban K-12 schools. He has earned a Bachelor's degree (Business Administration), Master's degree (Education), and Doctoral degree (Education Administration and Policy) from the University of Delaware and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Colorado.
James Kushner is the Managing Attorney for Housing at Gulfcoast Legal Services. He has been a staff attorney at GLS since 2008, working at various points in family law, elder law, and consumer protection; he has focused exclusively on housing since 2019. He is a graduate of the Stetson University College of Law, and holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago.
Dr. Michael Akinwumi, Chief Tech Equity Officer: Michael Akinwumi leads National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA)’s Tech Equity Initiative. The Tech Equity Initiative (TEI) is a multi-faceted effort launched by NFHA to increase the fairness of and re-shape the design of algorithmic systems in the housing and financial services industries. Conducting research to advance the AI fairness field is a cornerstone of the TEI. Dr. Akinwumi leads research and testing efforts on algorithmic fairness, privacy enhancing technologies, computer vision algorithms, generative AI and algorithmic auditing as they apply to housing and financial services. He is responsible for acquiring and managing data and technologies for the tech equity initiative while managing cross-functional relationships to ensure that solutions that result from the Initiative meet needs across NFHA and of other stakeholders. Previously, Dr. Akinwumi led governance engineering efforts at a FinTech by minimizing exposures to regulatory risks, managed a machine learning-powered recommender system that presents product and service offers to retail customers of a bank, and pioneered the use of machine learning solutions in auto and property insurance pricing of a P&C insurance company. Dr. Akinwumi lives his belief that “only a life lived for others is worth living.”
Frank Sarivola is an Investigator for the Pinellas County Office of Human Rights. Frank has served Pinellas County since 2019 and initially started his tenure as an Intake Officer. Frank currently investigates Fair Housing, EEOC employment, and Public Accommodations cases. Frank is a retired law enforcement officer where he served in various investigative and supervisory roles. Frank has conducted and supervised investigations of property crimes, narcotics investigations, and person’s crimes. Frank has completed multiple investigative courses to include Injury and Death Investigation, FBI Interviews, and Interrogations and the FDLE Detectives Academy, plus many more. Frank’s last duty assignment was a supervisor of law enforcement cruise terminal operations for the largest cruise terminal, passenger volume wise in the world. He was responsible for overseeing the daily operations of law enforcement and contract security for lines such as Disney, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and many other ships. Also, in his jurisdiction was the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, where he provided law enforcement and security supervision outside of NASA, Space X and Air Force launches. Frank is a graduate of the FBI LEEDA Supervisory Leadership Institute, a State of Florida Certified Law Enforcement Officer, and a Florida Supreme Court Certified Civil Court Mediator. Frank graduated from the Florida Institute of Technology in 2018, with a master’s degree in Public Administration. Frank is the recipient of many awards including multiple life saving awards, commendable service awards and meritorious service awards. Frank was commissioned by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky as a Kentucky Colonel, which is the highest honor afforded by the state for outstanding law enforcement actions.
Attorney Mercy Roberg is the Director of Operations at Community Law Program where she practices in the areas of family law, domestic violence, and landlord/tenant law. Prior to earning her law degree from Stetson University College of Law, Attorney Roberg was a Florida educator in Alachua and Pinellas counties.
Lynn Hanshaw graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and received her Juris Doctor degree from Stetson University College of Law in 1999. Her fair housing training includes John Marshall Law School in Chicago, followed by a national invitation-only HUD training in Baltimore.
Lynn’s practice includes civil litigation focusing on housing matters. She holds a weekly housing clinic for The Community Law Program, assists Bay Area Legal Services with their fair housing litigation and is generally available to the legal community to discuss fair housing questions.
Lynn received the William F. Blews Pro Bono Service Award in 1999, the Sixth Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Attorney of the year award in 2016 and the Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Award for the Sixth Circuit in 2017.
Lynn was also one of the founding members of the Tri-county Fair Housing Consortium, the predecessor of the host for today’s program.
Matt Ortner PropTech entrepreneur began programming on an Apple II+ in the sixth grade. He entered the hospitality field after school, and immediately began transforming business with technology by automating the hotel’s night audit process. He worked his way into a junior Software Developer position for an international pay phone manufacturing company, and from there continued to build his expertise in technology development.
For fifteen years, Matt has worked in the property technology industry, and opened his own custom development and design shop, Envoi, Inc. in 2018. Envoi offers a set of portals, which take an prospective tenant all the way from their initial apartment search to their application and lease process, tenant portal services, and finally through their move-out inspection and deposit settlement, with online payment processing and integrations to services such as background screening, credit services, and affiliate services. In addition to property technology, Envoi develops custom software for business administration, web design, and workforce related personality assessment services.
Matt lives in Englewood, Florida with his fiancé, Arin. Together they have three children, Sarah, Christian, and Emily, and two cats. When not programming, Matt enjoys rewatching the entire Star Trek franchise, using YouTube to learn how to build things, and ‘camping’ in his RV.
Mark Steven Esparza has been an investigator for the last 30 years and a mediator for the last 20 years in the field of Civil Rights. He began as affair housing investigator for the city of St. Petersburg in 1993, then moved to Pinellas County Office of Human Rights in 1999, where I continued to work as an investigator in the fields of fair housing, equal employment opportunity and public accommodations. I currently live in Clearwater, Florida.