Peru State College
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News Release

Civil Rights Activist, Little Rock Nine Member Minnijean Brown-Trickey to Speak at Peru State College Tuesday, Jan. 18

The Free Event Begins at 7 p.m., Public Invited to Attend


(Peru, Neb.) Civil Rights Leader and Little Rock Nine member Minnijean Brown-Trickey will present a keynote address titled Return to Little Rock: A Seminal Movement in American Education and Civil Rights at Peru State College (PSC) at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 18 in the College Theatre, located at the south end of Hoyt Science Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

As a teenager, Brown-Trickey entered the Civil Rights Movement and America's consciousness through the front doors of Central High School in Little Rock, Ark. In 1959, in defiance of the state, the world watched as she and eight others braved intimidation and threats from those who opposed the desegregation of the formerly “whites-only” high school. Walking past armed guards and an angry mob, Brown-Trickey helped desegregate public schools and changed the course of education in America.

Brown-Trickey is the recipient of numerous awards and citations, including the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation’s highest civilian award, which she was presented in 1999 by President Bill Clinton. Under the Clinton Administration, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Workforce Diversity at the Department of the Interior. She is also the subject of two acclaimed documentaries: Journey to Little Rock: The Untold Story of Minnijean Brown Trickey and HBO's Little Rock: 50 Years Later.
Brown Trickey is a social activist and has worked on behalf of peacemaking, environmental issues, developing youth leadership, diversity education and training, cross-cultural communication, and gender and social justice advocacy.

PSC President Dan Hanson said, “As an institution long devoted to accessibility and opportunity for students of all ages from all walks of life, diversity is a fundamental part of our educational mission. With this in mind, we developed a Distinguished Speaker Series last year as part of our systemic plan to encourage discussion about diversity and world events.

“We are excited to bring nationally and internationally recognized speakers like Minnijean Brown-Trickey to southeast Nebraska to enrich the educational experience of our students while also providing our surrounding communities an opportunity to engage in interesting and relevant topics.”
Speakers interact with students and community members in a variety of ways during their visits, including classroom discussions, guest lectures, meet and greet receptions, and a keynote address.

The Distinguished Speaker Series began with a presentation by reformed skinhead Frank Meeink last October. Two more notable speakers are scheduled to appear at PSC in 2011. Future guests include:

Mahatma's Gandhi’s Grandson Arun Gandhi
Lessons Learned from Grandfather
7 p.m. Tuesday, March 22, College Theatre

Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, Humanitarian and Author Greg Mortenson
Promoting Peace One School, One Child at a Time
7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19, Al Wheeler Activity Center

The Distinguished Speaker Series is sponsored by the PSC Center for Achievement and Transition Services (CATS) and Student Affairs. For more information, visit or contact Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs Michaela Willis at 402-872-2221 or