Press Release


Discussion part of year-long series of events marking 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education

CHICAGO— The Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) will host, “Personal Stories from the Civil Rights Era,” a panel discussion with Anne Braden, Joseph De Laine, Jr., Fannie Rushing, and Alderman Dorothy Tillman on June 29, 2004 at 6:30 p.m. in the Chicago Historical Society Auditorium at 1601 N. Clark Street. High school students in the Chicago Historical Society’s Teen Chicago program will interview the panelists.

This event is co-sponsored by the Chicago Historical Society and The HistoryMakers.

This event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required and space is limited. To make reservations or for more information, contact the IHC at 312.422.5580 or send an email to


  • Anne Braden is the author of The Wall Between, an account of her efforts to help integrate racially segregated neighborhoods in Louisville, Kentucky in 1954. Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. cited Braden for her integrity in his famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”
  • Joseph De Laine, Jr. is the son of the late Rev. Joseph A. De Laine, who led the fight against segregated schools in Clarendon County, S.C. in the 1950s. DeLaine was a teenager at the time and witnessed the violent reaction that finally forced his family to flee the state.
  • Fannie Rushing grew up in Chicago. While attending Hirsch High School, she volunteered for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), one of the most important Civil Rights groups.
  • Dorothy Tillman is Chicago Alderman for the Third Ward. She was a trainee and field staff organizer for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and marched with King on the infamous Bloody Sunday, a turning point in the battle to ensure the right to vote for African American citizens. Tillman became the first woman to serve as alderman of Chicago’s Third Ward and the only female elected official in the United States who worked on King’s staff.

This event is part of the IHC’s “Brown v. Board 50 Years Later: Conversations on Integration, Race, and the Courts,” a free, year-long series of programs going on aroundIllinois from May 2004-May 2005. Future events include a discussion with legendary dancer Jeni LeGon; a Brown-related film series; a panel discussing the impact of race on rhythm and blues; and an all-day series of discussions related to the various legacies, both positive and negative, of Brown.

For a calendar of events or for more information, please visit the IHC’s “Brown v. Board 50 Years Later” website at or contact the IHC at 312.422.5580 or via email at

This event venue is wheelchair accessible. If you need a sign interpreter, or have a disability and require accommodation to fully participate in this event, please call the IHC at 312.422.5580 to make arrangements.

Chicago Public Radio (WBEZ 91.5), the Chicago Sun-Times, Comcast, and WYCC-TV Channel 20 are media sponsors for “Brown v. Board 50 Years Later.” “Brown v. Board 50 Years Later” is funded in part by grants from The Boeing Company, Jovon Broadcasting, the Polk Bros. Foundation, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, and Woods Fund of Chicago.


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