This afternoon, I attended a session called “A Turn To Justice: Examining the Dream of Brown and the Civil Rights Act” at the ABA Annual Meeting. Photos were on display throughout the room from the eras of Brown and the Civil Rights Movement and the Freedom Riders Traveling Exhibit, which seemed to bring everyone into a state of historical reflection and set the stage for a compelling and interesting panel discussion.

The keynote speaker at the session was the Honorable Dennis W. Archer, chairman emeritus at Dickinson Wright PLC in Detroit, MI, who shared his wealth of knowledge and insights regarding process and challenges since the decision in Brown and passage of the Civil Rights Act, as well as his vision of the future of these two significant events. Addressing the Freedom Riders in the room, Hon. Archer fought back tears as he said how impressed he was to be in their presence. He then went on to talk about how important it is that we be educated on the history around Brown and the Civil Rights Act and never forget how important it was for our society as Americans.

The Honorable Jenny Rivera, associate judge of the Court of Appeals, was one of the panelists and talked about the importance and significance of Brown to the Latino community. One in four children in American schools in 2012 were Latino. This is a huge feat considering that in 1946, the California State Supreme Court ruled against segregation of Latino Children in an Orange County school. Yet we still have a lot of work ahead of us, said Hon. Rivera.

Another panelist was Kimberly Keenan, general counsel for the NAACP. “Until we get it right, we’re always going to struggle,” she said in reference to education, and particularly segregation. “If it weren’t for the Civil Rights Act, we wouldn’t be sitting here today together. We have to remember the work is not done and we have to remind people that the work is not done. ”



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