Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Local forums today will examine discrimination in many forms




By John Eckberg
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A daylong series of forums about religious and ethnic discrimination will focus, in part, on acts of ethnic intimidation in southwest Ohio against Arabs and Muslims in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

        “We have had some complaints — some name-calling,” said Frank Masterson, regional director of the Cincinnati office of the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. “In one case, a guy went into a parts store and was called a number of racial epithets, and it was a case of mistaken national origin.

        “In some areas of Ohio, some of these cases have escalated beyond words.”

        The Ohio Civil Rights Commission and the federal Equal Opportunity Commission will hold public forums today at the state commission offices at 801B W. 8th St.

        A third group, the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, is hosting an employer stakeholders meeting on the topic between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. at the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, 300 Carew Tower, 441 Vine St.

        The first forum on religious and ethnic discrimination will be from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the state regional office.

        An evening forum, to follow at the same location between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m., will look at race, color, sex, age, disability, national origin and religious discrimination.

        The annual forums began in 1999 as a way to receive feedback from the public and to offer information about discrimination issues.

       



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