Brown v. Board of Education gets anniversary panel at Washburn Law

Local News

TOPEKA (KSNT) – Washburn University is hosting a panel discussion Monday night to honor the 67th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision. The landmark U.S. Supreme Court case was decided on May 17, 1954, and established that racial segregation in schools is unconstitutional.

The panel discussion is called “Before Brown v. Board: A look at Dred Scott v. Sandford and Plessy v. Ferguson” and will feature:

  • Lynne Jackson, President, Dred Scott Heritage Foundation
  • Keith Plessy, President, The Plessy and Ferguson Foundation
  • Phoebe Ferguson, Executive Director, The Plessy and Ferguson Foundation
  • Moderator: Janet Thompson Jackson- Professor of Law, Washburn University School of Law
  • Moderator: Leslie Canaan, Senior Field Officer, National Trust for Historic Preservation

The panel will discuss these two Supreme Court decisions, centering on race, that came before Brown v. Board. Dred Scott v. Sandford was decided in 1857 and declared that the U.S. Constitution was not meant to include citizenship for Black people. Plessy v. Ferguson was decided in 1896 and established the “separate, but equal” doctrine, which Brown v. Board overturned.

Along with the decisions before Brown, Dean & Professor of Law Carla Pratt said the panel will discuss Washburn’s connection the landmark Brown case.

“Washburn Law educated the lawyers who filed the case here in Topeka, Kansas on behalf of the 13 plaintiffs here in Topeka and worked with the NAACP to recruit those plaintiffs”

Carla Pratt, Dean & Professor of Law at Washburn University

The discussion is being put on by Washburn University School of Law, the Brown Foundation, and the Shawnee County Historical Society in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Preservation Leadership

“Before Brown” starts starts at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom. Pre-registration is required.

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