Another way to mark the 60th school crisis anniversary | Arkansas Blog

Another way to mark the 60th school crisis anniversary


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As our issue this week details, the city of Little Rock and National Park Service has scheduled a fuill round of events to mark the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High School.

And a reminder: A new community group has formed that has scheduled events to make clear that 1957 wasn't an end but only an episode in the fight for equal rights and education access.

Grassroots Arkansas, which draws from the Save Our Schools and Citizens Against Taxation Without Representation, has scheduled events Saturday to talk about preservation of the legacy of public schools nationwide. They were mobilized by the state takeover of the Little Rock School District and continuing erosion of its student base by the Walton-funded push for unlimited charter schools in the city.

Saturday's agenda:

1-2 pm
Rally for Public Education & Speakers’ Corner
Front Steps of state Capitol

Modeled after the historic Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park, London, this is more than just a rally! This is a chance to elevate (both literally and figuratively) the voices of regular people who are affected by the closing and underfunding of our public schools. Facebook event:\

In addition to State Senator Joyce Elliott and other designated speakers, YOU are encouraged to step up to  the soap box and share your experiences. Attendees will include local parents, students, and out of town guests from Memphis and New Orleans, where attacks on public education have progressed in recent years.

2:30-3 pm
Honoring the Legacy: The Little Rock Nine
State Capitol, Old Supreme Court Room (South End of 2nd Floor)

Two of the Little Rock 9, Elizabeth Eckford and Thelma Mothershed Wair, will join us inside the State Capitol as we watch an original video performance in their honor. We will present the ladies with a token of our gratitude and listen to Ms. Eckford share a first-hand account of her struggles and her hope for the future. (Note: Live version of performance will be held at 7pm, see below.)

Movement Assembly on Education
State Capitol, Old Supreme Court Room (South End of 2nd Floor)

Become a part of Arkansas’ first People’s Movement Assembly on Education! Democracy is more than just casting a vote once a year - it’s about coming together, sharing stories, and sharing strategies.

What are our current obstacles to creating equitable public schools? What kind of school system do we envision? What strategies will get us there? We will explore these questions in small breakout groups, then come together as a whole to synthesize a movement strategy to bolster public education. A strategy that both supports Little Rock schools and connects our city to the larger movement across the country.

Facebook event

6-7 pm
Union AME Church, 1825 Pulaski Street
Buffet-style dinner for Movement Assembly participants and volunteers. Vegan and gluten-free options available.


7-8: pm
Honoring the Legacy: Live Performance
Union AME Church, 1825 Pulaski Street

Live poetry and performance art piece put on by Central High students in honor of the Little Rock Nine. Performers will explore the issues of personal conflict, race, and struggle for equity in the face of adversity.

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