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Cheryl Brown Henderson  

Brown v. Board of Education Originators/Civil Rights Activists

Cheryl Brown Henderson is one of the three daughters of the late Reverend Oliver L. Brown, who, along with 12 other parents led by the NAACP, filed a lawsuit against the local Board of Education on behalf of their children in the historic case Oliver L. Brown et. al. vs. the Board of Education of Topeka, et. al. Their case joined with cases from Delaware, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C. on appeal to the US Supreme Court and on May 17, 1954, became known as the landmark decision. Her father Oliver Brown died in 1961 before knowing the impact this case would have on the country.

Brown Henderson is the Founding President of The Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence and Research, and owner of Brown & Associates, educational consulting firm. She has extensive background in education, business and civic leadership, having served on and chaired various local, state and national Boards. In addition, she has two decades of experience in political advocacy, public policy implementation, federal legislative development and was an associate with The Westerly Group, a public advocacy firm formerly based in Washington, D.C.

Since its establishment, the Foundation has provided scholarships to more than 100 minority students, presented awards to local, state and national leaders, established libraries for children in low income communities, developed curriculum on Brown for educators across the country, created traveling exhibits on and a web site on Brown and sponsored programs on diversity and educational issues, for thousands of people. In 1990, under her leadership, the Foundation successfully worked with the U.S. Congress to establish the Brown v Board of Education National Park in Topeka, which opened in May of 2004. In 2001, the Foundation successfully worked with the U.S. Congress to establish the Brown v. Board of Education 50th Anniversary Presidential Commission, which served to provide a Federal presence in the 2004 anniversary of the Brown decision.

Invited to the White House on six occasions, Brown Henderson has been a sixth grade teacher, university guest lecturer, school guidance counselor, and state educational administrator. She is past chair of Women Work, a national network that represented some 15 million women nationwide who were seeking career assistance and employment in non-traditional fields.

Cheryl Brown Henderson has lectured at more than 300 college campuses and for various national organizations and community groups. She has received numerous awards in recognition of the Brown decision and has appeared in televised and newspaper interviews nationwide about this historic case.


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Brown v. The Board of Education: The Legacy Continues

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