Brown Sisters to Speak at Symposium

Contact: Ralph Derickson

Photo of Linda Brown Thompson and Cheryl Brown Henderson
Linda Brown Thompson and Cheryl Brown Henderson

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The event will serve as a springboard for future initiatives in which Kentucky is showcased and viewed nationally as a literacy think tank where scholars, researchers, and practitioners come together to critically examine and discuss issues in literacy research and practice.

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 27, 2005) -- Linda Brown Thompson and Cheryl Brown Henderson, daughters of the famed plaintiff, Rev. Oliver Brown, from the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision, Brown v. The School Board of Topeka, will be among the speakers at the Kentucky Literacy Research Symposium April 29-30 at Spindletop Hall on Iron Works Pike in Lexington.

The literacy symposium, the first ever in Kentucky, is co-sponsored by the Collaborative Center for Literacy Development, The Carol Lee Robertson Endowment for Literacy, and the University of Kentucky President’s Commission on Diversity.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) recruited the Browns and 13 other African-American families to challenge the “separate but equal” clause that permitted segregation in the nation’s schools. The Supreme Court ruling in that case paved the way for desegregation throughout the United States and was one of the watershed events that sparked the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

Thompson and Henderson have served as professional educators and both are leading associates for the Brown Foundation. Henderson is the foundation’s chair. At the Kentucky Literacy Research Symposium, they will address issues concerned with closing the achievement gap and educational equity.

The symposium is bringing to Kentucky the foremost thinkers and researchers in the field of literacy research to address issues of national, state, and local importance.

The event will serve as a springboard for future initiatives in which Kentucky is showcased and viewed nationally as a literacy think tank where scholars, researchers, and practitioners come together to critically examine and discuss issues in literacy research and practice, said Janice Almasi, the Carol Lee Robertson Endowed Professor of Literacy in the University of Kentucky College of Education.

The other topics to be discussed at the symposium include a discussion of the impact of No Child Left Behind/Reading First federal legislation on the classroom and the need for fostering literacy at home as well as in schools.

For more information, contact Janice Almasi at at (859) 257-1981 or by e-mail, or Keith Lyons, (859) 257-7996.

Information on the symposium also may be found on the literacy department’s UK College of Education Web site.


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