Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Teachers College Honors Civil Rights Pioneers

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Teachers College Honors Civil Rights Pioneers

Article excerpt

Graduates of Columbia University's Teachers College were reminded last month of the lasting importance of the civil rights movement and its influence on the struggle for equity in education.

The university used the 2002 Master's Convocation setting to honor several important leaders who played crucial roles in shaping America's civil rights policies.

Honorees were: the Brown family; Coretta Scott King; Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.; and Dr. David Levering Lewis, Rutgers University professor and author of the Pulitzer Prize winning biography of W.E.B. DuBois. Each was presented with the Teachers College Medal for Distinguished Service to Education.

"We wanted to focus on the enduring commitment of our society before Sept. 11 and what we think must never, ever be forgotten," says Dr. Arthur Levine, president of Teachers College.

Levine praised the medalists as "four champions of equity -- leaders in a lonely battle who suffered and won victories -- not personal victories, but victories for humanity."

Cheryl Brown Henderson, founder of the Brown Foundation, accepted the award on behalf of her father, the late Reverend Oliver L. Brown, for his role in the landmark Supreme Court decision that led to the desegregation of the nation's public schools.

"Brown v. The Board of Education placed race squarely on the national agenda, insisting that this country mature into a more credible democracy," Henderson said after accepting the award. "The Teachers College medal also belongs to the nearly 200 community activists, attorneys and plaintiffs whose sacrifices required the U. …

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