Dozens of civil rights activists and government officials were at Thursday’s event in Springfield to work toward having accessible housing regardless of race and economic status.

The conference is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act. The symposium offered multiple workshops, panel discussions and career development opportunities working to prevent discrimination when it comes to housing.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey told 22News about the role civil rights play in accessible housing. She said, “Housing is civil rights, civil rights is housing, because the circumstances under which you live determine so much about your future. We need to build healthy communities by building healthy families and part of ensuring a healthy family is making sure they have safe and stable housing.”

Healey said housing in western Massachusetts is expensive and hard for people to access. She told 22News making housing more fair and accessible is one of her top priorities.

The conference continues at the Springfield Sheraton Friday morning with workshops beginning at 10:45am.