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Cheryl Brown Henderson reflects on fight for equity in education

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Grand Valley State University entrance arch

As many celebrate the accomplishments and vision of Martin Luther King, activists know the fight for equality still remains. Cheryl Brown Henderson, continues her family’s legacy in the fight for equity in education.

Cheryl Brown Henderson serves as this year’s Keynote speaker for Grand Valley State University’s Martin Luther King Day Commemoration.

The name Brown might stand out to you. She’s the daughter of the late Rev. Oliver L. Brown, who in the fall of 1950 fought against racial segregation in American Schools…the case historically know as Brown vs. The Board of Education.

“My father died early on just 7 years after the Brown decision, but I wonder what his activism would have been like had he lived and I think about the loss of Dr. King and what would have happened had he lived, because these are men that plant seeds that we’re still watering and nurturing to this day.

Henderson has carried on her family’s legacy, serving as the founding President of the Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence and Research, as well as owning an educational consulting firm. In her keynote address, she acknowledges the past year of protests towards social justice, saying the fight for equity, specifically in education is far from won.

“The suggestion that United States history should not be taught truthfully is a red herring. People were beginning to ask questions why aren’t we “

Henderson, along with Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist who also spoke, put the importance of voting at the forefront. Noting that with more voices comes change.