From Equality to Quality: Commemorating the Brown v. Board of Education (1954) Decision

In April 2014, the College of Charleston will host a series of events entitled “From Equality to Quality: Commemorating the Brown v. Board of Education (1954) Decision” that will generate greater public awareness of South Carolina’s contribution to these historic Civil Rights milestones. The keynote speaker will be Robert Moses, a nationally renowned civil rights activist, and several other public forums will take place. SC Humanities supported these programs with a Major Grant in February 2014.

A panel on “Charleston and Educational Equality: The Historic Role of Briggs in the Brown Decision” will take place on Friday, April 4, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Guest speakers include federal Judge Richard Gergel; noted author and journalist Jack Bass; educational policy and legal scholar Derek Black; and Joseph De Laine, Jr., the son of Reverend De Laine, the lead organizer behind the Briggs case in 1951. The panelists will share their insights into the Briggs v. Elliott (1952) case, which began in Clarendon County, when black parents sued the district to provide bus transportation for their children. The panel is free and open to the public and will take place at the Historic Charleston Federal Courthouse (83 Meeting Street).

A second major event will take place on Thursday, April 10, 2014 from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. at the College of Charleston. “The Status of Quality Education in SC: Forum with Civil Rights Educator Activists & Charleston Mayor Joe Riley” will feature Mayor Joe Riley, Robert Moses, and two local Charleston activists, Dave Dennis, a CORE organizer in Mississippi from 1961-1965, and Millicent Brown, the first person to desegregate the public K-12 school system in South Carolina. Each panelist will speak briefly about their involvement in the twentieth century civil rights movement and will discuss current efforts to implement equal access to quality education in South Carolina and across the nation. The event is free and open to the public and will take place at the Charleston Science Center Auditorium (202 Calhoun Street).

A final event will take place on Friday, April 11 from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at Burke High School in downtown Charleston. The local history workshop will be open to the public but is targeted to Burke High School parents and alumni, and the goal is to gather oral histories, primary sources, and school artifacts that document the history of Burke High School.

To learn more information about the program and the series of events, contact Jon Hale at 843-953-6345

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. SC Humanities programs and initiatives are balanced, reflecting sensitivity to the diversity of ideas, encourage open dialogue, demonstrate integrity, and are ethical in operations.