Commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision

From the Southern Education Foundation and Brown’s Promise

May 17, 2024

Seventy years ago today, the Supreme Court ruled school segregation unconstitutional in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case.

We commemorate this historic ruling and celebrate the important progress made toward breaking down the barriers of segregation in our schools. This milestone not only reflects on monumental strides toward educational equity but also highlights the critical work still needed to overcome enduring disparities. The Brown v. Board decision, a cornerstone for civil rights, affirmed the essential truth that separate is inherently unequal. Yet, seven decades later we have still not fulfilled its promise of equal education for all. Our schools—and access to opportunity—remain heavily segregated along racial and economic lines.  

So this milestone is a moment not just for celebration, but reflection and action.

By the 100th anniversary of Brown v. Board, we should no longer be lamenting the lack of progress. We envision an educational system in which schools reflect the rich diversity of our country and every student receives a quality education that celebrates and harnesses this diversity. We envision well-resourced, integrated schools to be the norm, not the exception, ensuring that all students, regardless of race, ethnicity, family income, or linguistic background, feel valued and supported. 

The work to make that vision for the future a reality for all students must begin now: by reshaping state policies, expanding actionable research, equipping educators with the knowledge to address disparities in education, restarting a national conversation about school integration, pursuing strategic advocacy and litigation to enforce and expand desegregation. Our collective commitment and renewed actions today will define the opportunities available to students for generations to come. As the Southern Education Foundation builds on 157 years of work to improve education for Black students and other marginalized students and Brown’s Promise leads the nation toward more diverse, well-resourced schools, let us harness this moment to work toward lasting change and fulfill Brown’s promise once and for all.


Fulfilling Brown’s Promise: A Call to Action Marking 70th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education 

National poll shows strong support for integrating and fairly funded schools

Resources for schools from the Equity Assistance Center-South at SEF


News media contact: Alan Richard,, (202) 641-1300