News Release

Brown’s Promise, SEF join Legal Defense Fund to mark 70th anniversary of Brown v. Board decision

NEWS RELEASE – April 4, 2024

Contact: Alan Richard, or 202.641.1300, or on-site press contact: Nerissa Vogt,

The Legal Defense Fund, Brown’s Promise, and Columbia Law School are commemorating this year’s 70th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision at a daylong event today in New York to reflect on the decision and its meaning for the future.

Brown’s Promise, a multi-year initiative based at the Southern Education Foundation that works to combat racial segregation and resource inequities in schools, is co-sponsoring the conference. Watch the event live beginning at 9 a.m. ET and ending by 3:30 p.m.

Southern Education Foundation President and CEO Raymond Pierce will appear on the day’s first panel, addressing the legacy of the Brown decision and its meaning for the future, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Georgetown Law professor Janel George will moderate the panel, which also features Professor Olatunde Johnson of Columbia Law, LDF Director of Litigation Samuel Spital, Columbia Law student Malik Sammons, and Floyd McKissick, Jr., an attorney, former state senator in North Carolina, and descendent of an earlier LDF client.

“The upcoming anniversary of the Brown decision gives us an opportunity to reflect on our history — and come to grips with the continued impact of school segregation and its connection to limited opportunities for Black students today,” Pierce said.

Later, Brown’s Promise Co-Founder Saba Bireda will appear on a panel with Janai Nelson of The Legal Defense Fund after Nelson’s keynote address.

LDF’s yearlong Brown at 70 campaign marks the 70th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka – the landmark Supreme Court case that compelled our country to reckon with its history and confront the unfulfilled promise of equality. Thursday’s event will move advocates and others closer to fulfilling the promise of Brown, through a day of conversation with students, advocates, educators, organizers, and leaders.

SEF is also honoring the legacy of the Brown decision with events and published reports coming throughout the year.


The Southern Education Foundation is a research, policy, advocacy and leadership development organization that works to advance education opportunity for underserved students.

Founded in 1867 as the Peabody Fund, we are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to advancing more equitable education policies and practices, especially for students of color and from low-income families. Today, we also provide direct services for educators, school districts, and states.