PHRC to host second annual Disability Conference this July

Keynote address by Imani Barbarin

Harrisburg, PA –In honor of Disability Pride month, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) will host its second annual disability conference, “Don’t Leave Me Out! Holistic Approaches for Disability Inclusion & Resolving Conflict.” This one-day hybrid conference will focus on working together with individuals with disabilities to navigate conflict. It will take place at the Harrisburg Hilton and online and will offer engaging sessions on a variety of topics about how individuals with disabilities navigate through various conflict situations, including bullying, interactions with the criminal justice system, armed conflict, mediation, and more. This conference is designed to inform Pennsylvanians about their rights, explore new ideas, and connect individuals with resources to help them successfully work through conflict situations. 


DATE: Tuesday, July 9, 2024

TIME: 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (Breakfast& Registration begin at 8, program starts at 9.)

LOCATION: Hilton Hotel in Harrisburg, One North Second Street

REGISTRATION:  The event is FREE to attend. However, participants must register!

“The PHRC is excited to host a disability conference once again this July,” said PHRC Executive Director Chad Dion Lassiter, MSW. “Our planning committee is hard at work putting together a program that will leave attendees inspired and motivated and ready to do more stand up against injustice.”

The conference will begin with a plenary session about disability rights under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act. Then there will be concurrent sessions; one on bullying and harassment of youth with disabilities and one on the impact of war on people with disabilities. Then there will be lunch and a keynote address by Imani Barbarin, an American writer, and disability rights activist. The afternoon will have concurrent sessions: one on the criminal justice system and people with disabilities and another about mediation as a tool to resolve conflicts about disability accommodation requests.

“This hybrid event will include panelists from across the world,” said PHRC Hearing Examiner and Disability Conference Committee member Darlene Hemerka, Esq. “The goal of the conference is to ensure people with disabilities can navigate and thrive in situations involving conflict.”

In addition to the panels, there will be vendor tables so that participants can learn about other resources available. Any vendors interested in having a table should contact Brittany Mellinger at Space is limited so request a table early.

About PHRC: The PHRC enforces state laws that prohibit illegal discrimination. If you feel you have experienced illegal discrimination, you can file a complaint by calling 717-787-4410. Information and resources are also available at Follow the PHRC on X, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube, and subscribe to our monthly newsletter.


PHRC Media Contact Details

Amanda Brothman

Communications Director 771-856-5971
Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission Media