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“We conclude that in the field of Education, the doctrine of  separate but equal has no place.  Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”

                                                   - U.S. Supreme Court, 1954


Left: Sumner Elementary In 1986 (courtesy National Park Service)  Right: Sumner Elementary in 2013

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And so it began.  In this landmark ruling, young Linda Brown paved the way for future generations to attend classes side-by-side with their white peers. In the decades to come, Monroe Elementary, the black school that Linda had to travel over two miles to attend would become the National Park Service Site commemorating this event while Sumner Elementary, the all white school just blocks from her home, would eventually be left to fall into extreme disrepair. 

Since the summer of 2012, local activists and concerned citizens with a passion for the history of Topeka, Sumner School, and the Ward Meade neighborhood have engaged in active dialogue about the blight of Sumner School and what could be done to save it. Forming the Brown v. Board Sumner Legacy Trust, the group has consulted with local experts on issues regarding historical integrity, future uses, and potential funding sources.



We invite you to explore Sumner with us and find out about this beautiful building. The Trust is in the process of  incorporating and acquiring non-profit status. If you’re interested in donating or participating in the preservation of Sumner Elementary, please contact us at