May 14, 2004

More Information

Contact: Jennifer Kinnard, School of Journalism and Mass Communications, (785) 864-7644.

KU online journalism class creates Brown v. Board of Education Web site

LAWRENCE -- Students in an online journalism class at the University of Kansas have created a Web site commemorating the 50th anniversary of the monumental Brown v. Topeka Board of Education Supreme Court decision that led to nationwide school desegregation.

Ann Brill, associate professor of journalism who teaches the course, wanted to give students, faculty and anyone interested in learning more about the case an accurate representation of it and the people involved, as well as to commemorate the event by creating a Web site.

Opponents of segregation successfully used the 14th Amendment, which provides equal protection under the law to all persons born or naturalized in the United States, to argue that school segregation was unconstitutional.

Brill, Staci Wolfe, graduate teaching assistant, and the online journalism students designed a Web site from start to finish. The case originated fewer than 30 miles from the KU campus, so it was fitting that the class take an active role in the anniversary by creating an online resource.

"This case changed the lives of people throughout the country," Brill said. "The students learned a lot about the lives of those involved and the changes that took place because some people stood up for what was right. This site tells those stories -- that's what good journalism does."

Brill divided the class into two teams. One team was responsible for the research and for writing content, and the other oversaw the architecture and design of the site. In addition, students wrote individual stories about key figures, which are featured in the site's profile section.

"The students learned a lot about what goes into developing a Web site from the ground up," Wolfe said. "It was a great learning experience for them."

The Monroe Elementary School in Topeka, where the events of the case took place, is being turned into a National Historic Site, set to open to visitors this month.

To find out more about the case and upcoming events or to visit the Web site, go to


This site is maintained by University Relations, the public relations office for the University of Kansas Lawrence campus. Information may be reused without permission; images may be reused with notice of copyright but not altered.

 • Contact us: | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045