For Immediate Release — September 2, 2004

Contact:

Mary E. McCrank

Media Relations Officer

(585) 245-5516

mccrank@geneseo.edu

SUNY GENESEO CONFERENCE TO EXAMINE

POST-BROWN EDUCATIONAL EQUALITY

GENESEO, N.Y. — The State University of New York at Geneseo will hold a daylong conference titled "...with all deliberate speed..." on Sept. 18 to examine the equality of education 50 years after the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Brown vs. Board of Education decision.

On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court ruled "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal," putting an end to desegregated classrooms in Kansas and 20 other states. Race relations in America would forever be affected by this decision, and half a century later statistics reflect that schools are still segregated by race and economics.

"...with all deliberate speed...": Where Do We Stand 50 Years After Brown? A One-Day Conference Examining the Current State of Educational Equality will be held from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18, in the Robert W. MacVittie College Union Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public.

The event begins at 9 a.m. with registration and coffee. Rochester Mayor William A. Johnson Jr. will deliver the keynote address titled "An Ongoing Struggle: Brown vs. Board of Education 50 Years Later" at 9:30 a.m. Panel discussions about the court decision will go from 10:30-11:45 a.m., and then participants may get lunch on their own. The conference will resume at 1 p.m. for workshop sessions. Among the workshops planned are "The Campaign for Fiscal Equity — Making the Case for Rochester’s Children" with Rochester public interest lawyer Jonathan Feldman and "The Pursuit of Equality for Language Minority Students" with Edgar Miranda, a lecturer in SUNY Geneseo’s Ella Cline Shear School of Education.

At 2 p.m., the conference will conclude with a call to action by Jane Fowler Morse, an associate professor in the Shear School of Education, and Maria Behncke of the statewide coalition Alliance for Quality Education.

A former secondary education teacher, Morse came up with the idea to hold the conference so the college’s education students could learn different aspects they are likely to face in their future teaching careers.

"Teachers need to be aware of the social and economic issues that interfere with children’s learning," said Morse, pointing to new U.S. Census data that reveals more children are poor and lack health insurance.

"A big component of being a public educator is advocacy for children," she said. "If they know more about the economic conditions of their students, they’ll be in a better position to do something about it."

Morse will talk about lead poisoning and how it affects students’ ability to learn. Her presentation will include statistics about the high rate of Rochester children who have been diagnosed with lead poisoning.

The conference is sponsored by the following SUNY Geneseo offices: Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Office of the Dean, the Shear School of Education, Xerox Center for Multicultural Teacher Education and the Center for Community.

Advance registration is not required. For more information, call (585) 245-5620 or go to http://www.geneseo.edu/~multcult/Brown.htm.

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