Brown v. Board of Education: 60 Years Later, the Journey Continues
Media - Newsroom/Press
Washington, DC – (May 16, 2014) The Thurgood Marshall College Fund honors the legacy of Justice Thurgood Marshall and the May 17, 1954 landmark decision by the Supreme Court in the case of Brown v. Board of Education, announced TMCF President & CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr.
“The Court’s unanimous decision 60 years ago has influenced decades of conversations and legislation on education, but the journey continues,” said Taylor. “Even today, in 2014, as we argue for affirmative action in colleges and graduate schools, we appreciate how important this ruling was.”
Sixty years ago, Linda Carol Brown and her younger sister Terry Lynn did not have equal educational opportunities. Unlike their white counterparts, they walked daily along miles of railroad tracks to attend school in Topeka, Kan. – only to arrive to school without adequate books or learning materials. Leading the way with Justice Thurgood Marshall, Brown filed a law suit against the Board of Education demanding equal educational opportunities. The Supreme Court unanimously ruled, on May 17, 1954, that "separate but equal" public schools for blacks and whites were unconstitutional. This historic decision opened many doors for African Americans and also paved the way for equality in higher education.
Fast forward to today – students now face different challenges like college affordability. In the wake of a recession and with an economy that is still limping along, many students cannot fathom how they will be able to afford a higher education. Last year as Host of TMCF’s 2013 Annual Gala, Dr. Bill Cosby talked about the facts of college affordability and the fact that so many children cannot afford the $20,000+ tuition they will need to complete an undergraduate education. However, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have continued to be a viable choice for minority students -- costing an average of $6,300 per year for an in-state student to attend a publicly-supported HBCU, far lower than college tuition costs nationwide.
Standing on Justice Marshall’s legacy, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, WHERE EDUCATION PAYS OFF ®, remains diligent to ensuring minority students have access to higher-education and professional development to prepare them to compete globally. TMCF has built many successful programs like its scholarship programs, award-winning Leadership Institute, Opportunity Funding Corporation, and the Payne Global Initiative.
“Sixty years later, we are preparing some of the brightest students in programs like STEM, communication, and international studies,” said TMCF Founder Joyce Payne, PhD. “But the journey continues. We must stretch our arms to reach as many minority students as we can both in the U.S. and into other countries.”
Leading up to its 2014 Annual Gala in Washington, DC on November 12, 2014 at the Washington Hilton, TMCF will host and participate in various activities of celebration – answering President Obama’s recently issued Proclamation calling all Americans to observe this 60th Anniversary of Brown v. Board Education with programs, ceremonies, and activities that celebrate this landmark decision and advance the causes of equality and opportunity for all.
“Thousands of minority students will graduate today with undergraduate and graduate degrees,” said Taylor. “What a perfect way to celebrate this landmark decision and honor the legacies of Justice Marshall and Linda Carol Brown.”
Visit TMCF’s website at thurgoodmarshallcollegefund.org for more information on TMCF’s Gala or to support the dreams of 300,000 college students.