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Yolanda N. Melville to deliver Keynote at New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Directors Retreat

Topic: Diversity Concerns for City Government

Yolanda N. Melville of Cooper Levenson, Attorneys at Law, will deliver the keynote address at the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Directors Retreat at Stockton University in Atlantic City on Oct. 30.

Melville, in the luncheon keynote, will provide an overview of how notions of “diversity” have evolved in state and local law, the definitions of “protected classes” have changed over time, the law has evolved as statutes and directives have emerged to right historical wrongs, and why diversity matters in local government. The keynote is designed to expand knowledge and understanding of various areas of diversity law, including employment practices and civil rights.

Lt. Governor Sheila Y. Oliver and Mayor Marty Small will open the day at 9:00 a.m. Speaker sessions and workshops are scheduled throughout the day. Topics include leadership development, fiscal accountability, employee management, employee discipline, and more.

In addition to her role as an attorney at Cooper Levenson, Melville is the National Chair of the NAACP NextGen Alumni Committee. She is a sought-after speaker and has served on numerous national panels, including at NAACP National Convention CLE program in 2018 and 2020. She spoke on the topic “Education the Younger Generation on Civil Rights and Legal Issues at the National Bar Association conference 2020. She delivered the keynote address at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. NAACP, Atlantic City Branch. On Oct. 27, Melville will serve on a roundtable with the New Jersey State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal. The topic “Examining New Jersey’s Anti-Bias Vision,” will be a discussion of the recently released report by New Jersey’s Interagency Task Force to Combat Youth Bias. The report details New Jersey’s vision for addressing the rising tide of hate among our state’s young people.

Melville graduated from The College of William and Mary, where she graduated with a dual degree in English and Government. She earned a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Virginia Commonwealth University, and received her Juris Doctor degree from Howard University School of Law. Melville was selected as a 2011 Kellogg’s Law Fellow for the NAACP Office of General Counsel, where she worked on national civil rights issues and participated in discussion panels throughout the country.

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