UVM to Discuss Unfinished Business of Brown v. Board of Education

Cheryl Brown was three years old when – by quirk of fate and alphabet – her family name was put on a Supreme Court case representing 13 parents who had tried unsuccessfully to register their children in all-white public schools in Delaware, Washington D.C., South Carolina, Virginia and Kansas.

Brown v. Board of Education ruled that segregation in public schools is inherently unequal and upheld the Constitution’s 14th Amendment. Fifty years later, this landmark case is said to have launched America’s Civil Rights movement, and Cheryl Brown Henderson is traveling nationwide to dispel the myths, revive the truths and continue the work. She runs the nonprofit Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence and Research in Topeka, Ks. and sits on the 50th Anniversary Commission established by Congress.

Henderson and Michael Lomax, the newly appointed CEO and President of the United Negro College Fund and President of Dillard University in New Orleans, La., will bring their considerable historic presence and expertise to the University of Vermont’s two-day event, “Looking Back, Looking Forward: The Unfinished Business of Brown v. The Board of Education April 8-9.

Lomax is ambitiously repositioning Dillard as one of the premiere small undergraduate institutions in the South with a tradition as a Black university. In seven years under Lomax’s leadership, Dillard enrollment has grown 40 percent, the school boasts a multi-million-dollar renovation and in 2001 “U.S. News and World Report” rated Dillard 17th in the top tier in the South. Lomax will receive an honorary degree at UVM’s commencement ceremony in May.

Henderson will kick off this lecture and workshop series Thursday, April 8 at 4 p.m. in the Ira Allen Chapel.

Lomax will speak Friday, April 9 at 9 a.m. in Carpenter Auditorium of UVM’s Given Building.

Following Lomax’s keynote will be two concurrent lectures from 10:15-11:45 a.m.

Cheryl Brown Henderson will speak in Carpenter Auditorium on “The Unfinished Business of Brown: Preparing Educators to Help Fulfill the Promise” – a faculty-oriented presentation on the critical roles and responsibilities of educators.

Simultaneously in Hall B of the Given Building, Richard Johnson III will lead fellow UVM faculty experts in a panel discussion. “Shaping Hispanic Identity: The U.S. Agenda” will address topics such as how federal policies on race get complicated when different labels are applied to a single group of people. The panel: Kathryn Dungy, Pamela Gardner, Cynthia Reyes, George Candler, Josie Herrera, Jim Vigoreaux, Thomas Macias and Jose Davila. Also on the panel is George Candler, a professor from Bridgewater (Massachusetts) State University.

And the series will end with another panel from 1:30-3 p.m. in Carpenter Auditorium. “Our Reality: A Promise Deferred No More…” will be a discussion about history, strategies and action for teachers and students. Jill Tarule, dean of the College of Education and Social Services will moderate for UVM Emeritus Professors H. Lawrence Mc Crorey and Kenneth Fishell; director of Equity Initiatives of The Vermont Institutes Kathy Johnson; and director of the Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Office Kathryn Friedman.

These free, public events are sponsored by UVM’s College of Education and Social Services, Office of the President, Office of the Vice Provost for Multicultural Affairs, Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity, The ALANA Coalition. For more information call 802-656-3424 or visit website Brown Conference .