The Importance of the Brown v. Board of Education decision

Sixty two years ago today, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously decided that racial segregation in our nation’s public schools was unacceptable. In the Brown v. Board of Education decision we see what can happen when communities take a stand. It remains one of the seminal cases that each of us remembers when we think about how our nation has continued to make racial progress broadly.

Their ruling that “separate but equal” public schools for blacks and whites were unconstitutional was an important step forward in providing access to quality education for all children. It was a vital decision for the civil rights movement and was one of the first of so many other important moments that would come.

It also reminds us about the importance of standing up and speaking out. The brave parents who demanded more for their children may have never known that their actions would have a powerful ripple effect on education for all children, not just their own. Their fight was filled with the hope and optimism that make our country so great.

I believe that as we honor this milestone, there remains much work to do. Today, sadly, too many children have yet to be able to fully realize the impact of this important decision on their lives because they remain trapped in failing, substandard schools. Together, we can continue to fight for better schools for all children, regardless of their socioeconomic status, background or zip code.

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