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Brown v. Board of Education—a Landmark
Photo from the film Stolen Education.
The George Mason University community and the public are invited to attend a symposium with experts discussing the U.S. Supreme Court landmark ruling on Brown v. Board of Education and screening a new film.
The symposium, Unspoken Histories of Unequal Education, marks the 60th anniversary of the ruling and is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Monday, April 28, at Mason Hall on the Fairfax Campus. Admission is free, but RSVPs are suggested. The event is hosted by the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD).
The historic Brown v. Board of Education case, while focused on the integration of African American students in the nation’s schools, was never simply about African Americans’ rights. The film, “Stolen Education,” depicts how the nation’s “separate but equal” laws also profoundly affected Mexican-American students.
“I was touched by the film’s story and its unspoken history of desegregation, racism and educational inequality,” saysRodney Hopson, the CEHD professor who is convening the symposium’s panel along with Jenice L. View and Sonya Horsford, CEHD associate professors. “It gives us another way to understand the story of a nation that has historically struggled to ensure the right of education for all, and especially those of color.”
In the film, 9-year-old Lupe had already been in the first grade for three years. This was not because of her academic performance, but because she was Mexican-American. School administrators and teachers argued this practice was necessary because—as they stated in court in 1956—the “retardation of Latin children” would adversely impact the education of white children. Lupe’s son, filmmaker Enrique Alemán Jr., recaptures the remarkable story of the schoolchildren who changed education in Texas.
“This event resonates especially strongly within the Mason community because of our culture of diversity and inclusion,” says Mark Ginsberg, CEHD dean. “We are honored to have such an esteemed panel of experts on campus to help us understand the challenges and find innovative actions that bring about the kind of sustained change and authentic equity that the Brown v. Board of Education decision envisioned.”
This event is sponsored by Masons’ Office of the Provost; CEHD; Center for Education Policy and Evaluation; Department of African and African American Studies; and Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Multicultural Education. Promotional support is provided by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and the Mexican Cultural Institute of Washington, D.C. Additional support is from Mason’s Diversity Research and Action Consortium and the Leadership Education and Development Office.
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