In honor of the 65th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) and other civil rights organizations will be hosting a rally at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, May 16th. Speakers will address the still urgent struggle for education equity as well as the growing trend of executive and judicial nominees failing to endorse the Brown decision during their confirmation hearings. Just as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his historic “Give Us the Ballot” address at the “Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom,” those addressing the audience will also highlight the need to push for equality in all aspects of American life, including tying this anniversary to the fight for voting rights and the current effort to fully restore Voting Rights Act.

Inspired by the “Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom” – which was held on the third anniversary of Brown in 1957 – the event will bring together civil rights leaders, elected officials, and advocates fighting to make real the vision of equality laid out in the Brown decision.

WHERE: U.S. Capitol, Corner of Constitution Avenue and 1st Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

WHEN: Thursday, May 16th 10:00 am ET

WHO: LDF President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill; The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights President and CEO Vanita Gupta; Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer; Representative Terri Sewell; Representative Veronica Escobar; Senator Richard BlumenthalNAACP Regional Director Jonathan McKinney; National Women’s Law Center President and CEO Fatima Goss Graves; Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund Regional Counsel Andrea Senteno; National Coalition on Black Civic Participation President and CEO Melanie L. Campbell; Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law President and Executive Director Kristen Clarke; National Urban League Senior Vice President for Policy and Washington Bureau Executive Director Clint Odom; Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC President and Executive Director John C. YangNational Education Association President Lily Eskelsen GarciaNational Action Network Policy Advisor Kyra Stephenson-Valley; and NAACP Youth & College Division representative Sareil Brookins

Rally Reading List

Brown v. Board of Education Decision

The Supreme Court's unanimous decision in Brown.

Brown v. Board of Education Case Page

An overview of the landmark decision.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Give Us the Ballot" Address 

Read the full text of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Give Us the Ballot" speech, delivered at the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom in honor of the third anniversary of Brown. 

The Southern Manifesto and “Massive Resistance” to Brown 

More on the resistance to the Brown decision.

LDF President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill's Reading List for Brown

“For those who are seeking to learn more about the case that changed America, this reading list offers a place to begin, from children’s books to biographies to some of the most riveting non-fiction I have ever read.” 
— Sherrilyn Ifill

Nominees and the Brown Decision

Washington Post Op-Ed: If Judicial Nominees Don’t Support ‘Brown v. Board,’ They Don’t Support the Rule of Law

Op-ed from LDF President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill on rising trend of Trump judicial and executive nominees refusing to endorse the Brown decision.

LDF Statement on Deputy Attorney General Nominee Jeffrey Rosen Refusing to Endorse Decision in Brown 

Statement from LDF President and Director-Counsel Sherrilyn Ifill on Deputy Attorney General nominee Jeffrey Rosen's refusal to say that Brown was correctly decided.

LDF Letter Opposing Michael Park’s Nomination for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals

Sent the week before the 65th anniversary of Brown, LDF’s opposition letter cites Park’s failure to support the momentous ruling during his confirmation hearing as a disqualifying factor.

LDF Blog: Neomi Rao Showed Us Who She Was In College – Believe Her

Blog post by former LDF Policy Director Todd A. Cox detailing judicial nominee Neomi Rao's anti-civil rights record, including her unwillingness to offer support for decision in Brown.

CNN Op-Ed: A Judge Pick who Won't Back Landmark Brown Case is Unacceptable

Op-ed from former LDF Policy Director Todd A. Cox on judicial nominee Wendy Vitter's failure to endorse the Brown decision.

LDF Blog: Drawing A Red Line on Brown v. Board of Education

Blog post by Cristian A. Farias, former Writer-in-Residence at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, on the importance of judicial nominees affirming the Supreme Court's decision in Brown.