Daughter of Brown c. Board of Education keynote speaker for the Grand Rapids holiday event in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.


GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Cheryl Brown Henderson, whose case of Brown v. Father’s Board of Education Supreme Court ended legal segregation in public schools, is the keynote speaker at a free downtown event celebrating Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.

Davenport University, Grand Valley State University and Grand Rapids Community College will host the 35th Annual Federal Day Commemoration in honor of the civil rights leader killed at 6 p.m. on Monday, January 17 at Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain Street NE,

Henderson is the founding president of the Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence and Research and owner of Brown & Associates, an educational consulting firm.

She is one of Oliver Brown’s three daughters. He sued the Topeka Board of Education when it refused to admit his daughter Linda, thus laying the groundwork for the historic 1954 case led by the NAACP.

“Our annual celebration amplifies Dr. King’s historical reflections and philosophies for achieving a just and equitable society,” said Latoya Book, executive director of diversity, equity and inclusion at Davenport in a statement. hurry. “Cheryl’s presentation will inspire attendees to overcome persistent barriers to advancing equity in education. We are proud to share his message with our great community.

Henderson’s address is titled “Brown v. The Board of Education: The Legacy Continues ”. She launched her foundation in 1988, offering over 100 scholarships to students of color since its inception.

The doors to Fountain Street Church will open at 5 p.m. Participants must register at davenport.edu/DEI/MLK. The event will take place in accordance with local, state and / or federal COVID-19 guidelines.

Davenport officials say Henderson has extensive experience in education, business and civic leadership, having served and chaired various local, state and national councils. In addition to her leadership experience, she has two decades of experience advocating for political interests, implementing public policies and developing federal laws.

Since its founding, scholarships have been awarded to over 100 students of color, awarded prizes to local, state and national leaders, established libraries for children from low-income communities, developed a program on Brown for educators across the country; and sponsored programs on diversity and education issues for thousands of people, according to the Davenport press release.

Officials say Henderson worked successfully with Congress in 1990 to establish Brown v. Board of Education in Topeka, which opened in May 2004. In 2001, it again worked with Congress to create the “Brown Commission v. Board of Education 50th Anniversary Commission ”to advise the Secretary of Education on activities to celebrate the landmark decision.

Henderson received his BA in Elementary Education and his Minor in Mathematics from Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas, an MA in Guidance and Counseling from Emporia State University in Kansas, and an Honorary Doctorate in Human Letters from Washburn University. and an honorary doctorate in education from the University of South Florida, according to Davenport.

Over the years, Henderson has been invited to the White House for events in King’s honor.

To request accommodation to attend the event, please contact the Davenport Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at diversityis@davenport.edu.

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