Opening Plenary

Monday, July 20; 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Join us for our Opening Plenary as we kick-off NCIL’s first-ever virtual Annual Conference on Independent Living!  The Opening Plenary will set the stage for three weeks of advocacy, workshops, and work together!  Our keynote address will be provided by Vanita Gupta, President and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.  You won’t want to miss this exciting conference opener!

Connection Instructions

Vanita Gupta speaks at a podium

Vanita Gupta

Vanita Gupta is President and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of powerful civil and human rights groups working across movements and communities of oppressed and marginalized peoples.  Vanita is an experienced leader and litigator who has devoted her entire career to civil rights work. Most recently she served as Acting Assistant Attorney General and Head of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division under President Barack Obama.

Under Vanita’s leadership, the division did critical work in a number of areas, including advancing constitutional policing and criminal justice reform; prosecuting hate crimes and human trafficking; promoting disability rights; protecting the rights of LGBTQ individuals; ensuring voting rights for all; and combating discrimination in education, housing, employment, lending, and religious exercise.

Some of the high profile issues during her tenure included the investigations of the Ferguson, Baltimore, and Chicago police departments; the appeals of the Texas and North Carolina voter ID cases; the challenge to North Carolina’s HB2 law and other transgender rights litigation; and letters to state and local court judges and administrators on the unlawful imposition of fines and fees in criminal justice system;

Prior to joining the Justice Department, she served as Deputy Legal Director and the Director of the Center for Justice at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).  She began her legal career as an attorney at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund.

Vanita graduated magna cum laude from Yale University and received her law degree from New York University School of Law, where later she taught a civil rights litigation clinic for several years.

Events: Opening Plenary Keynote Address