On Tuesday November 25, 2014, LDF attorney Leticia Smith-Evans delivered the keynote address at the Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services (SMRLS) 24th Annual Fall Appreciation Luncheon on Tuesday.  Her address on the Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education was heard by an audience of over 500 including federal and state judges, members of the bar, advocates, corporate and non-profit supporters.  At the luncheon, SMRLS honored the Honorable Michael J. Davis, Chief Judge, United States District Court, the Honorable Donovan W. Frank, United States District Court, SMRLS board members Catherine Harris and Emma Green Hilliard, and UCare.  SMRLS also honored the legacy of Thurgood Marshall, LDF’s first Director-Counsel, and the Brown legal team, including Constance Baker-Motley, Robert Carter, Jack Greenberg, and James Nabrit.  With a mission similar LDF’s, SMRLS provides legal services to those with the greatest need, including low-income individuals in 33 Minnesota counties and migrant farm workers throughout Minnesota and North Dakota. 

In her remarks she reminds us that:

With the 60th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education coming just a few years after the election of the country’s first African American President, many believe that we live in a post-racial society, that the wounds from racial apartheid in this country have healed. That is simply not true.  Racial disparities in education are prevalent, and today children and students are being denied access to equal educational opportunities for a variety of reasons – the color of their skin, the language they speak, their gender, their immigrant status, their disability status – to name a few. So, 60 years post Brown our work is not finished…