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Last modified: Wednesday, March 10, 2004

50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education to be commemorated through series of events

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Legal experts, civil rights advocates, educators, historians and sociologists are among those who will visit Indiana University Bloomington this spring to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka case.

They will participate in lectures, panel discussions and film screenings designed to honor and celebrate the revolutionary Supreme Court decision aimed at ending racial segregation in public schools. The Brown case, which will turn 50 on May 17, struck down the "separate-but-equal" doctrine and was a turning point in the push for equality among all races.

The following is a list of commemorative events scheduled at IUB. For continued updates on events, dates and times, visit For an overview story on Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, go to

- Film screenings of Eyes on the Prize, America's Civil Rights Years 1954-1965 on March 25 and 30, and April 1 and 6 in Room 121 of the School of Law. As part of his African American studies class, Racism and the Law (A481), Frank Motley, former dean of admissions for the IU School of Law-Bloomington, will show episodes from the award-winning PBS documentary series by executive producer Henry Hampton. The screenings are open to the public.

- A commemoration lecture by Sonia Nieto, professor of education at the University of Massachusetts, on March 29 in the School of Education Auditorium. Nieto will describe a year-long inquiry group in which she participated with a small group of Boston high school teachers. Her purpose in conducting this research was to explore what keeps veteran teachers engaged, committed and excited about teaching, especially in financially strapped urban schools. Nieto will lead a roundtable discussion concerning her lecture on March 30 in Room 2277 of the School of Education.

- A lecture, titled "Brown v. Board of Education: What We Gained, What We're Losing, What We Can Do," by Gary Orfield of the Harvard School of Education on March 31 in the Moot Court Room of the School of Law. Orfield is considered the foremost authority on the resegregation of public education following the Brown decision. The presentation will be followed by a workshop with participants from the IU School of Law-Bloomington and other IUB departments. Participants include professors Kevin Brown (law), Jorge Chapa (Latino studies) and Pamela Walters (sociology).

- A lecture by renowned civil rights litigator Alvin Chambliss on April 7 in the Grand Hall of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center. Chambliss represents one of the non-settling parties in litigation against the state of Mississippi for its failure to fund historically black universities -- Jackson State, Alcorn State and Mississippi Valley State -- at the same level as other state universities.

- A film screening and discussion of The Road to Brown led by professors Kevin Brown (law) and Claude Clegg (history), and Alvin Chambliss on April 8 in the Moot Court Room of the School of Law. The film describes the legal strategy that Charles Hamilton Houston and Thurgood Marshall devised to bring Plessy's separate-but-equal rule before the Supreme Court.

- A lecture by IU alumnus Maurice Daniels, a professor of social work at the University of Georgia, on April 29 at a location to be announced. Daniels is the founder and director of the Foot Soldier Project for Civil Rights Studies at the University of Georgia. The project focuses on the development of civil rights documentaries chronicling "unsung" persons and events in the civil rights movement.

Additional information may be found at IU Home Pages, the faculty/staff newspaper, which recently features Brown v. Board.

"A golden anniversary," by Adam W. Herbert, president of Indiana University, may be found at the IU Home Pages Web site, as well as two features by staff writer Lee Ann Sandweiss, "De-seg/Re-seg," and "No such thing as 'deliberate speed' to change 'seperate but equal.'"

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