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For Release: April 3, 2003

Education Commissioner Librera Announces Year-Long Commemoration
Of 50th Anniversary of Landmark Brown v. Board of Education Decision

Commissioner of Education William L. Librera on Wednesday announced the New Jersey Department of Education will devote its academic year 2003-04 to a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision that outlawed racial segregation in the nation’s public schools.

"On May 17, 1954, America was changed forever when the United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously to outlaw racial segregation in the nation's public schools," Commissioner Librera said.  "That landmark decision set the country on a course of debate, dissent, and change that continues today."

Dr. Librera said, "Beginning with our convocation in May of 2003 and ending with commencement ceremonies in May 2004, the Department plans to recognize and analyze the great social changes brought about by this historic civil rights decision."

The Commissioner said the Department of Education intends for this commemorative year to renew the spirit of social justice that spurred such commitment to this important cause a half-century ago with the Brown court decision. 

Commissioner Librera and New Jersey Secretary of State Regena Thomas will host the convocation in May at the War Memorial Building.