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Agenda for Discussion:

  • Voting rights policy
  • Protecting against discrimination in exercising the right to vote, particularly protecting against racial discrimination or discrimination against language minorities.
  • Protecting the ability of immigrants to become citizens by ensuring that non-citizens understand that they cannot register to vote until they become citizens
  • Ensuring eligible voters are not disenfranchised from voting through unfair practices such as gerrymandering, too few polling places, and limited hours at polls
  • Securing the vote against domestic foreign interference and vote by mail in the context of COVID-19

Darryl Heller, Ph.D.
Director of the Civil Rights Heritage Center (CRHC)

Darryl Heller, Ph.D. has served as the Director of the Civil Rights Heritage Center for four and a half years, starting in 2015. Dr. Heller recently spent a year as Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa where he joined the University’s Department of Gender, Women’s and Sexuaity Studies. In January 2020, Dr. Heller returned to Indiana University South Bend and resumed his position as Director of the Civil Rights Heritage Center.

Dr. Heller received a B.A. in Philosophy from the College of Charleston, where he developed an interest in social justice after observing the oppression of migrant workers. He later moved to DC, where he worked with an organization to combat homelessness through creative nonviolence. After eighteen years, Dr. Heller went on to receive his M.A. in American Studies from Columbia University and his doctorate in History from the University of Chicago. He co-founded the Amistad Institute, a New York based nonprofit organization that designed, developed, and implemented educational programs for inner-city communities. The consistent feature in all Dr. Heller’s work has been the fight for justice on behalf of marginalized groups and communities. Dr. Heller’s current interest is the history of racial construction and its role in shaping contemporary American ideology. He is working on revising his lecture series into a manuscript for publication.

Lisa Koop, J.D.
Associate Director of Legal Services at the National Immigrant Justice Center

Lisa Koop is the associate director of legal services at the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC). She directs NIJC’s asylum project, handles federal litigation, and provides representation and supervision in deportation defense matters. Ms. Koop specializes in litigation, policy, and direct services advocacy on behalf of immigrant survivors of gender-based violence. She heads NIJC’s Indiana office and is an adjunct professor at Notre Dame Law School. Ms. Koop graduated magna cum laude from Indiana University McKinney School of Law in 2004.