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April 5, 2011
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Diversity organization schedules candlelight vigil

Baldwin City, Kan. — Cheryl Brown Henderson, a 1972 Baker University graduate and president of the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, will be the keynote speaker at Baker’s 31st annual candlelight vigil at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 10, at the Osborne Chapel on the Baldwin City campus. Baker-1134

The event, sponsored by Mungano, Baker’s student-run diversity organization, honors those who fought for justice and equality during the Civil Rights Movement. The public is invited to join Mungano members in a candle-lit walk across campus while singing songs from the Civil Rights Era. Mungano will host a reception in the basement of the chapel following the vigil.

During the ceremony, Mungano will pay tribute to the organization’s founding fathers, Jesse Milan and John Njorge, a 1966 Baker graduate. The 2010-2011 Mungano officers will be recognized for their service and the 2011-2012 Mungano officers will be inducted into office.

Cheryl Brown Henderson, one of the original members of Mungano, will speak about the impact of the Brown v the Board of Education decision as it relates to civil rights and her experiences as a Baker student. In 1950, her father, the late Rev. Oliver L. Brown, and 12 other parents filed suit on behalf of their children against the local Board of Education. Their case joined with cases from Delaware, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C. on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and on May 17, 1954. It became known as the landmark Brown v. the Board of Education desegregation case.

Brown Henderson, named Kansan of the Year by the Topeka Capital-Journal in 2005, currently provides leadership and management for Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site.  She is the founder of The Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence and Research.  She also owns Brown & Associates consulting firm and has extensive background in education, business and civic leadership, having served on and chaired various local, state and national boards.

A recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Citation at Baker University, Brown Henderson received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Baker and a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Emporia State University.  She is the recipient of various awards and recognition for work in education and community service; presentations at numerous conferences, conventions and universities; and for her work with Congress and the National Park Service to preserve sites associated with the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling of 1954.


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