The U.S. attorney's office in Birmingham is sponsoring a daylong meeting on civil rights and hate crimes.
The symposium being held Thursday will focus on legal protections that are available as the nation nears the 50th anniversary of events that made the city a national landmark for civil rights in 1963. Those include demonstrations led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and a racist church bombing that killed four black girls.
Alabama historian Wayne Flynt is the keynote speaker at the symposium. Sessions will concentrate on topics including hate crime laws; anti-bullying laws; and the American with Disabilities Act.
The symposium is open to law enforcement officers and the public.
The Justice Department recently placed the state's first federal civil rights unit in Birmingham.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.