CBCF Statement on the 70th Anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education

May 17, 2024

Media Contact
Yolanda Raine
Vice President, Marketing and Communications

Nicole Austin-Hillery, President and CEO, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF), and Jonathan Cox Vice President, Center for Policy Analysis and Research (CPAR) issued the following statement on the 70th Anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education.

As we commemorate the 70th Anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education, we stand at a critical juncture in our nation’s ongoing journey toward equality and justice for all. This landmark Supreme Court decision, handed down on May 17, 1954, was a pivotal moment in our history, striking down the doctrine of “separate but equal” and affirming the fundamental principle that separate educational facilities are inherently unequal, laying the groundwork to dismantling legal segregation nationwide.

Seven decades have passed since that historic ruling, yet the promise of Brown remains unfulfilled for far too many children across America. Despite significant progress , systemic barriers to quality education persist, disproportionately impacting communities of color and perpetuating cycles of inequality and injustice. “We know that race continues to impact the educational experiences and opportunities of students throughout the country,” says Nicole Austin-Hillery, President and CEO of the CBCF. “This is evident by ongoing court cases attacking efforts to maintain desegregation in schools; recent efforts to ban books in K-12 schools, many of which feature authors and characters of color; restrictive legislation that limits how schools can address race and diversity; and the perpetuation of inaccurate and incomplete history regarding Black Americans that undermines the integrity of American education.”

As we reflect on the legacy of Brown, we are reminded of the urgent need to redouble our efforts to dismantle these barriers and ensure that every child has access to a high-quality education, regardless of race, ethnicity, or zip code. Education is the cornerstone of opportunity, and it is incumbent upon us to ensure that every child has the tools and resources they need to succeed.

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation remains committed to advancing policies and initiatives that promote equity and excellence in education. Through our Center for Policy Analysis and Research (CPAR), we will continue to advocate for equitable school funding, culturally responsive curricula, and supportive learning environments that empower all students to thrive. “Integrated, diverse schools provide benefits for all students,” says Dr. Jonathan Cox, Vice President for CPAR, “including increased critical thinking skills, limiting biased attitudes, and cross-racial interactions that positively impact understanding of diverse viewpoints and prepare students for a diverse workforce.”  The principles upheld in Brown also underlie the Foundation’s creation of the Leadership Institute, which provides educational and leadership development opportunities designed to increase the pool of future Black leaders in public service and in corporate America.

As we look to the future, let us recommit ourselves to the principles of Brown vs. Board of Education and the vision of a more just and equitable society. Together, we can build a brighter future for all our children, where every dream is within reach and every voice is heard.

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About the CBCF

Established in 1976, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. (CBCF) is a non-partisan, nonprofit, public policy, research, and educational institute committed to advancing the global black community by developing leaders, informing policy and educating the public. For more information, visit

As a 501(c)(3), the CBCF takes no position on legislation or regulatory matters before Congress or any other government agency.