The Sandra Day O’Connor Institute For American Democracy will present its next free, online Constitution Series: Equality and Justice for All public forum on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021, at 3:00 p.m. EDT. The complimentary webcast will feature Cheryl Brown Henderson, one of the three daughters of the late Reverend Oliver L. Brown, who in 1950, along with 12 other parents in Topeka, Kansas, and led by NAACP attorneys, filed suit on behalf of their children against the local Board of Education. Guest moderator for the forum will be Myles V. Lynk, District of Columbia Office of Disciplinary Counsel.
Reverend Brown’s case joined with cases from Delaware, South Carolina, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and on May 17, 1954, became known as the landmark decision: Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. Reverend Brown died in 1961 before knowing the impact this case would have on the nation.
Ms. Brown Henderson is the Founding President of the Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence and Research, and principal of Brown & Associates, an educational consulting firm. She recently published Recovering Untold Stories: An Enduring Legacy of the Brown v. Board of Education Decision.
The Institute launched the Constitution Series in 2020 to convene civil dialogue and foster solutions. With core values of inclusivity, civility, and collaboration, the organization founded by Justice O’Connor believes that this great nation’s expressed ideals require exploring issues of injustice. The series hopes to broaden perspectives and increase understanding through thoughtful listening, mutual respect, and shared purpose.
On the contemporary relevance of the Constitution, Justice O’Connor stated in a 2008 interview, “It’s survived very well, I think … To have a good government and maintain a good government, every generation has to learn about the Constitution and the laws. That way, every generation can provide good citizens who will understand our form of government and participate by voting and other ways. It’s critically important that we learn about it, and you don’t inherit that knowledge; you have to learn it.”
In 2009 following Justice O’Connor’s retirement from the U.S. Supreme Court, she founded the nonpartisan nonprofit organization to advance American democracy through civil discourse, civic engagement, and civics education. For more information and to register for the free webcast, visit OConnorInstitute.org.