Symposium: "Mendez v. Westminster School District: Paving the Path for School Desegregation and Brown v. Board of Education"

Event Date: 
Friday, May 21, 2004 -
9:00am to 5:30pm
Event Location: 
UCLA Faculty Center
On May 21, 2004, the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center will host a one-day symposium about the Mendez case, the landmark desegregation case of 1946 that successfully ended de jure segregation in California and was a precursor to later court cases, including Brown v. the Board of Education. This symposium brought together scholars, students, artists, and experts from across California. Included among the list of presenters are Sylvia, Gonzalo Jr., Geronimo and Sandra Mendez, the children of Gonzalo and Felicita Mendez, the main plaintiffs named in the lawsuit, as well as a number of former students who attended Hoover School, the Westminster School District's designated "Mexican School" in the 1940s.
The Mendez symposium has been designed with several key objectives in mind. First, to inform students and the general public about theMendez case and its significance to Brown v. Board of Education (1954); second, to honor the memory and efforts of the many Mexicans/Chicana/os involved in the  Mendez lawsuit and their struggle against California school segregation and discriminatory policies and practices in the mid-1940s, and to discuss the important contributions that people of Mexican descent have made to education; third, to impact ethnic studies and educational scholarship. Lastly, the symposium is intended to inform participants about research regarding past practices of de jure segregation with the hopes of informing present day practices of de facto segregation. Taking place in the year of the 50th anniversary of the landmark case, Brown v. Board of Education, the Chicano Studies Research Center recognized the important timing of this event and the need to continue the quest for educational equality.
To view program, click here.