March 16, 2004

Contact: Todd Cohen, University Relations, (785) 864-8858,; or Mary Jane Dunlap, (785) 864-8853,

Media Advisory: Gov. Sebelius to attend session of Brown v. BOE conference

UPDATE: The governor will be unable to attend tonight's session.

LAWRENCE -- Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius will attend the 7:30 session tonight of the public conference "The Legacies and Unfinished Business of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka: Law, Education, Public Policy and the Media" in Woodruff Auditorium of the Kansas Union at the University of Kansas.

KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway will introduce Sebelius before nationally syndicated columnist and author Julianne Malveaux speaks. Ticket registration has filled for Malveaux's speech on "The Economics of Brown v. Board." KU Continuing Education staff has arranged to simulcast her speech on a big screen in the Big 12 Room of the Kansas Union to accommodate a larger audience.

Tuesday's conference opened at 8:30 a.m. with a panel of educators examining "Race, Ethnicity and U.S. Public Education" and continues with multiple sessions throughout the day focused on resources for teachers and for assistance in achieving equity in public schools, exploration of the policies of "whiteness" in U.S. society, Latinos in public schools, images of race in today's films and media, and discussions of race and U.S. foreign policy.

The conference continues at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Woodruff Auditorium with Ted Shaw, associate director and counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Shaw will argue that although the landmark 1954 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education stands as one of the most important decisions in American law, public schools remain intensely segregated today and the legacy of the decision is largely legal fiction.

The conference will close with a discussion of how today's issues of race and education may be addressed and solved. Gary Orfield, the founding co-director of the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University, and John Jackson, national director of education for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, will lead the discussion with Bill Tuttle, KU professor of American studies.

The conference concludes a series of nationwide public programs featured by the Brown v. Board of Education 50th Anniversary National Commission.

For more information or to register for the conference, visit or call (785) 864-5823 or toll free (877) 404-5823.


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