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Mount Vernon NAACP holds Brown v. Board of Education celebration at MVHS

Mount Vernon NAACP holds Brown v. Board of Education celebration at MVHS

Mount Vernon community members visited Mount Vernon High School for an educational celebration of the 70th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education on Friday, May 17, 2024. The Mount Vernon chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) held the celebration to recognize figures who fought against segregation and to acknowledge the progress that is still needed.

Judge Johnson speaking to crowd.

Judge Nichelle A. Johnson, Judge Tamika A. Coverdale and Attorney Mayo Bartlett served as panelists and held a discussion about the history of segregation in the United States and in New York. 

The film “Separate but Not Equal: The Stories Behind Brown v. Board of Education,” was screened before the discussion began. The film chronicled the events leading up to the Supreme Court ruling that declared segregation unconstitutional.

“Things that we try to say happened a long time ago, did not,” said Mr. Bartlett. "We’re talking about things that are recent. The people we are reading about, the people you saw there (in the film), those are the people we see when we walk outside. Everybody in this room is a survivor of Jim Crow, from the youngest child to whoever the oldest among us is.” 

Former student asking a question

Judge Coverdale discussed the lesser-known women who played pivotal roles in the civil rights movement, including Judge Constance Baker Motley. 

“We have to do better, it has to be the entire story, so that everyone knows the truth,” said Judge Coverdale. “We thought it was important for you to know about Judge Constance Baker Motley. She is extremely important in this part of civil rights because without her, the case may not have gone that way.” 

Several members of the crowd asked civil rights related questions during the panel discussion. Nazir Garnett, a DWSA graduate who is interning for Judge Johnson, asked about how dissenting opinions affect the development of laws. 

“We couldn’t let the day go without celebrating the 70th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education,” said Judge Johnson, “We have to honor the people who led that fight: regular people, the attorneys and even judges. The dissenting opinions of some of those judges that stood up are very important, so we recognize that.” 

At the end of the discussion, Judge Coverdale noted how important it is for the youth to know about the history of civil rights and what came before them because they can effect change as well. She encouraged young people to go into the courts and see the possibilities of what they can do in their lives. 

Judge Coverdale speaking to crowd.
Mr. Bartlett speaking to crowd.



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Principals at each building in the Mount Vernon City School District have recently identified their Teachers of the Year based on the three criteria of instruction, attendance, and contribution to school culture and climate. View the Teachers of the Year here.

Lowes Moore Q+A

Lowes Moore, MVHS Class of 1976 graduate, is a former NBA basketball star and coach, and he served as Executive Director and Director of Development at the Boys & Girls Club of Mount Vernon for 27 years. He now hosts a podcast and runs Lowes Moore Global Communications.  

View the Q+A with Lowes Moore here!

Students in a court room on steps.

Applications for the 15th annual Scales of Justice Academy (SJA) at Fordham University School of Law and The Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University have been extended and are open until Saturday, June 15, 2024. The program will begin on Monday, July 22, at both locations. Legal courses will be taught by over 40 volunteer judges, lawyers, law professors, law students and elected officials.

Click here for the Fordham University SJA Application (July 22-31)

Click here for the Pace University SJA Application (July 22-26)