Examining the Legacy of the Little Rock Nine
On the Path to Excellence in Education:Â Lessons for Today through the Lens of 1957
As part of the 2nd Annual Civil Rights Heritage Commemoration, an educational forum was held following the morning ceremony honoring our 2012 honorees July 14, 2012.
Because the honorees, the Little Rock Nine; L.C. and Daisy Bates; and attorney Christopher Mercer Jr. worked to achieve equality in education for all students during the 1957Â desegregation of Central High School, the focus of the forum was the outcomes of integration – progress, challenges, opportunities – in the state.
Roberts gave a keynote address of lessons he took away from his experiences living in the segregated south, and what he has learned as a life long educator and consultant on issues of desegregation.
“I encourage all to try to get on about the businessÂ of educating ourselves so we can avoid the happenstance we had here in 1957,” he said.
Dr. Sadie Mitchell, Associate Superintendent, Elementary Education for the Little Rock School District and Nancy Rousseau, the principal of Central High School spoke specifically about the current state of schools in central Arkansas.
Bliss Ann Malone Hunter, a member of 1961 Freedom Riders and retired educator gave her perspective children’s attitudes toward school and said that teachers have to work to make children excited to learn.
Hilary Trudell, a recent graduate of the Clinton School of Public Service, said she with into public service because as an educator she witnessed unequal opportunities for students based on class and race.
“This story (of the Little Rock Nine) is inspiring because you have these people who risked their lives, and people who stood up with them. When I think about it, when put myself in the situation, I hope, I hope I would have been one of those people,” Trudell said.
Featured speakers and panelists included:
Dr. Terrence Roberts, a psychologist, educator and a member of the Little Rock Nine.
Dr. John Kirk, UALRÂ Department of History Chair and Donaghey Professor of History
Featured Panelists include:
Dr. Sadie Mitchell, Associate Superintendent, Elementary Education for the Little Rock School District
Bliss Ann Malone Hunter, a member of 1961 Freedom Riders, Educator
Nancy Rousseau, Principal, Central High School
Hilary Trudell, Graduate Student, Clinton School of Public Service
For Educators and Social Workers
Continuing Educational Development/Professional Development Credit was offered in conjunction with the Arkansas Department of Education, Little Rock School District, North Little Rock School District, and Pulaski County Special School District.
The forum was approved for Social Work Continuing Education by the Arkansas Social Work Licensing Board.
We look forward to hosting professionals from throughout the state at future Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage events.
For general questions about the Commemoration and/or Forum, please contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (501) 569-8932.