Sumner School Volunteer Opportunity!!! . A BIG THANK YOU!!! to everyone who came to the docent training. Your support means a lot to us!
Missed the training? WE STILL NEED VOLUNTEERS! We will still need people to serve functions such as servers, traffic control, and general assistance. If you’d like to help, please email email@example.com
For more 60th Anniversary events, please visit http://www.topeka365.com/events/upcoming/
For more National Park Service events, please visit www.nps.gov/brvb/planyourvisit/brownvboardevents.htm
A note from the City Councilman Nathan Schmidt:
Kansas was founded and organized as a battleground over civil rights. The New England Emigrant Aid Co. brought settlers here in the hopes of gaining statehood as a free state. John Brown and Bleeding Kansas followed. Kansas was also the destination for the Exodusters fleeing the south during Reconstruction. Shortly after the Civil War a strong movement for women's suffrage was begun herein Kansas led by Sam Wood and Susan B. Anthony. While defeated initially, Kansas became the 8th state to grant full suffrage in 1912 after suffrage for municipal elections was secured in 1887. Carrie A. Nation redecorated many saloons here which invigorated the temperance movement that served as the spearhead for the national women's rights movement of the early 20th century. Kathryn O'Laughlin was one of the earliest female members of congress in 1933, Susanna Salter was the first female mayor in the United States. Arthur Capper pioneered the treatment of physical disabilities, the Menninger family is the first family of mental health treatment. All of these actions and movements led to the Brown v. Board decision. That decision remains one of the most important civil rights decisions in this country and is seen globally by many as one of the most important civil rights decisions in the world.
To highlight all of this history we are organizing a civil rights celebration that will include music, theater, the arts, historical tours and participatory activities as well as a series of discussions on civil rights issues we face today. Contacts have begun to invite various local, state, and national voices from the present and the past to discuss all aspects of civil rights from segregation, to slavery, to civil rights in sports, politics, war etc. We hope to make this a very large discussion of civil rights issues as well as a discussion of our past and where we go from here. We hope to integrate the rebirth of the Sumner School, the school that started Brown v. Board, into this as a continuing center for work on global civil rights issues. Most of all however we are trying to reestablish a pride in our identity as a city of consequence, a city unafraid to face the most difficult issues of our or any time. Topeka holds a unique place in history as the national conscience, the place where tough realities are addressed and our future direction is defined. It is a story that needs to be more than told, it needs to continue to be lived. May 17, 1954 is the date that the Brown v. Board decision was handed down by the US Supreme Court. 2014 is also the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.