May 19, 2004
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Ruth Williams
Public Outreach Director
(505) 476-0393

50th Anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education Celebrated in Song and Word at Lowell Elementary

(Santa Fe, NM)—The 50th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that forever changed race relations in our country, was celebrated today, Wednesday, May 19, at Lowell Elementary School in Albuquerque in song and word. Attending the event were Lowell students and dignitaries from New Mexico, including First Lady Barbara Richardson and Secretary of Education Dr. Veronica C. García. Mrs. Richardson read from Governor Bill Richardson’s proclamation naming the week of May 17-23, 2004 as “Brown versus Board of Education Week” in the state.

The event was co-sponsored by the Public Education Department (PED), Office of African-American Affairs, Martin Luther King, Jr., State Commission and Lowell Elementary.

“Brown versus Board of Education recognized that public education is required in the performance of our most basic public responsibilities, is the very foundation of good citizenship and is a principal instrument in awakening a child to cultural values and in preparing that child for a career in an ever-changing environment,” the proclamation states.

Secretary Dr. García said at the event, “It is heard to believe that within my lifetime a celebration such as this one today was ever banned in schools throughout our country. And all because of fear. How critical it is that we celebrate events like the 50th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education so that we never lose sight of where we have been, how far we have come and the journey still ahead.

“Always know that no one can ever take from you what you know and learn, and that through knowledge you can reach the highest mountain.”

The celebration featured student performances, including the pledge to the flag and “We Love Our Flag” by three-, four -and five-year-old students in Lowell City Day Care, a reading on the significance of the Underground Railroad Quilt by a second-grade Lowell Elementary student and her family and the singing of “I Am the Greatest” by third-, fourth- and fifth-grade Lowell students.

“While so much has happened in the 50 years since the decision, we, as educators and communities, must always strive to make sure that all children have an equal opportunity to learn and fulfill their dreams,” said Secretary Dr. García.