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 Native American Experiences with Brown V. Board of Education Topic at SRU 




Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199;  e-mail:



          SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Dr. Frederick White, assistant professor of English, and Dr. Rachela Permenter, professor of English, will present “Separate: Unequal: Unwanted: A discussion of how Native American experiences relate to Brown v. Board of Education” as part of Slippery Rock University’s semester-long examination of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling outlawing separate but equal schools.

          The discussion will begin at noon Oct. 6 in the Spotts World Cultures Building Auditorium.

          White will discuss “Paradign shifts: Civilization, education, culture loss” which deals with the transition from informal modes of education to a formal mode at the expense of language, culture and family. Permenter will discuss “From Zitkala Sa to Acoma” giving an overview of Native American experiences with formal education in the U.S.

           The program is sponsored by the President’s Commission for Racial and Ethnic Diversity and is open to the community at large.

          The university launched its ongoing “Brown v. Board of Education: Reflections on the Past Fifty Years” series earlier last month with Juan Williams, author of the non-fiction bestseller “Eye on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965” and Fox News Channel and National Public Radio political commentator. It continued with SRU President Robert Smith presenting “Brown vs. Board of Education: 50 Years Velocity at all Deliberate Speed: How will SRU Accelerate the Next 50?” followed by Charmaine P. Clowney, director of diversity and equal opportunity at the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, offering related comments.

           On Thursday Pedro A. Cortez, secretary of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, delivered an address detailing his life experiences related to racial issues and his experiences in helping implement diversity and equality across the state. Cortes, confirmed by the state Senate in 2003 after nomination by Gov. Edward Rendell, administers the department of state and is charged with protecting the public’s health, safety and welfare. He previously served as executive director of the Pennsylvania Governor’s Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs and has served on the Pennsylvania State Civil Service Commission and in the Pennsylvania department of public welfare.

          “Separate but Equal: A Student’s Perspective,” sponsored by SRU’s Black Action Society, is set for 7 p.m. Oct. 7 in the University Union. The event will allow students to share their views on the Brown v. Board of Education ruling and its effects on society.

          On Oct. 8, the Honorable Nelson Diaz, the first Latino to serve as general counsel to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the first non-majority administrative law judge in Pennsylvania, will lecture on breaking barriers and his own leadership success. The address will be presented at 6:30 p.m. in the University Union.

           SRU’s Frederick Douglas Institute will sponsor “The Great Debate: DuBois and Carver” in which students will discuss the different educational philosophies of W.E.B. Dubois, a scholar devoted to attacking injustice and defending freedom, and nationally known educator Booker T. Washington. The dialogue is expected to generate current-day implications based on the two theories. The 6:30 p.m. Oct. 19 program will be presented in the Eisenberg Classroom Building Auditorium.

          “Brown v. Board: The History, Law and Impact” will be staged in the University Union at 6 p.m. Nov. 16 and Nov. 18 as a panel discussion led by Dr. Richard Martin, professor and chair of SRU’s political science department, and on Nov. 22, a “Town Hall Meeting on Race Relations” will be held at 7 p.m. in Ebenezer Church, 1119 S. Jefferson St., New Castle.

          The series ends with a weeklong series of films set for 6:30 p.m. Nov. 30-Dec. 2 in the Eisenberg Classroom Building Auditorium sponsored by the Harry M. Warmer Film Institute.


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