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AFT Statement on the Passing of Linda Brown

WASHINGTON - Statement of American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on the death of Linda Brown, whose enrollment in an all-white Kansas school was blocked, inspiring the landmark 1954 Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education:

“At a moment in history when young students are leading fights for safe schools with incredible moral courage, we are reminded of a young Linda Brown, who also stood at the epicenter of a movement for moral justice. She did so with immense courage, and her story changed the definition of equality in our country forever.

“On the 60th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision, I was in Topeka, Kansas, Brown’s hometown, to support the fight against Gov. Sam Brownback’s draconian disinvestment from public education, the same way the AFT was there in the 1960s, sending supplies and resources to the schools, and opening them to serve African-American students who were still being locked out, despite the court’s decision in the Brown case. We were there fighting for something that Brown had set in motion decades before.

“With the right support, we can continue to make America’s public schools the thriving communities of learning that Brown and her family fought for. Let that be her legacy.” ​

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The American Federation of Teachers is a union of professionals that champions fairness; democracy; economic opportunity; and high-quality public education, healthcare and public services for our students, their families and our communities. We are committed to advancing these principles through community engagement, organizing, collective bargaining and political activism, and especially through the work our members do.

The American Federation of Teachers, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, was founded in 1916 and today represents 1.6 million members in more than 3,000 local affiliates nationwide.

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