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Cheryl  Brown Henderson

Cheryl Brown Henderson

Brown v. Board of Education Originators/Civil Rights Activist


One of the three daughters of the late Rev. Oliver L. Brown who in the fall of 1950 along with 12 other parents in Topeka, Kansas, led by attorneys for the NAACP, filed suit on behalf of their children against the local Board of Education. Their case joined with cases from Delaware, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C. on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and on May 17, 1954, became known as the landmark decision; Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. This case was legally named for Oliver Brown, i.e., Oliver L. Brown et. al. vs. the Board of Education of Topeka, KS. et. al. Brown died in 1961 before knowing the impact this case would have on the nation. Read More >

Cheryl is the Founding President of The Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence and Research, and owner of Brown & Associates, educational consulting firm. She has extensive background in education, business and civic leadership, having served on and chaired various local, state and national Boards. In addition, she has two decades of experience in political advocacy, public policy implementation and federal legislative development.

Her education includes a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, Minor in Mathematics from Baker University, Baldwin City, Kansas, a master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling from Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Washburn University and an Honorary Doctorate of Education from the University of South Florida. She is the recipient of various awards and recognition for work in education and community service; presentations at numerous conferences, conventions and universities; and for her work with Congress and the National Park Service to preserve sites associated with the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling of 1954.

In 1988 she founded the Brown Foundation. Since its establishment, the Foundation has provided scholarships to more than 100 minority students, presented awards to local, state and national leaders, established libraries for children in low income communities, developed curriculum on Brown for educators across the country, created traveling exhibits on and a web site on Brown, and sponsored programs on diversity and educational issues, for thousands of people. In 1990, under her leadership the Foundation successfully worked with the U.S. Congress to establish the Brown v. Board of Education National Park in Topeka, which opened in May of 2004. In 2001 under her leadership the Foundation successfully worked with the U.S. Congress to establish the Brown v. Board of Education 50th Anniversary Presidential Commission, which served to provide a Federal presence in the 2004 anniversary of the Brown decision.

She has been a invited to the White House on seven occasions - In January 1994, May 1995, May 2003, June 2004, February 2005, June 2005, and May 2014, she was one of a group of individuals invited to receptions and dinner at the White House, (listed chronologically) in honor of Dr. King and the Children of Civil Rights Movement, the 75th Anniversary, U.S. Department of Labor, Women's Bureau, 49th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, 40th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act., African American History Month, African American Gospel Music Month and the 60th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. Read Less ^

Speech Topics

Brown v. The Board of Education: The Legacy Continues