2012 Arkansas Civil Rights Commemoration & Public Forum

“Their courage sparked the desegregation of Little Rock public schools.”

The Institute on Race and Ethnicity hosted the 2012 Civil Rights Heritage Commemoration and Public Forum Saturday, July 14, 2012. This marked the one year anniversary of the Institute.

Minnijean Brown Trickey speaks on behalf of the Little Rock NineBliss Ann Malone Hunter of the 1961 Freedom Riders was the guest speaker during the ceremony. Hunter said the Little Rock Nine were an inspiration to her to join the civil rights movement.

Dr. Terrence Roberts of the Little Rock Nine gave a lecture at the community forum on education in the Arkansas public schools.

Attorney Christopher Mercer Jr. could not attend the event due to illness. His daughter Crystal Mercer spoke in his absence. “Some people have called my father an unsung hero. He is not unsung, to me he is a giant,” she said.

Minnijean Brown Trickey spoke on behalf of the Little Rock Nine. “We were 14 and 15 year olds. We had no idea what we were getting into,” she said.

In addition to Roberts and Trickey, Elizabeth Eckford, Carlotta Walls LaNier, and Thelma Mothershed Wair of the Nine attended the events as well.

The commemoration event also included a panel discussion on the educational legacy of the integration of Central High School and its current impact on Arkansas schools. We will celebrate our one-year anniversary by honoring heroes in education.

Watch the Video of the Forum Here!

The Honorees
The Little Rock Nine: Ernest Green, Elizabeth Eckford, Jefferson Thomas, Terrence Roberts, Carlotta Walls LaNier, Minnijean Brown, Gloria Ray Karlmark, Thelma Mothershed, and Melba Pattillo Beals

Civil rights activist, Daisy Bates

Civil Rights advocate and journalist, L.C. Bates

Attorney Christopher C. Mercer Jr.

See information and photos from the first Civil Rights Heritage Markers event, the Little Freedom Riders Anniversary/Launch of the Institute on Race and Ethnicity.

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