Civil Rights Pioneer Minnijean Brown Trickey to Speak at Valencia College

Orlando, FL –  In September of 1957, nine African-American students enrolled in Little Rock Central High School to carry out racial desegregation ordered by the Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. After being kept out of the school by local protests and the National Guard (acting at the behest of Arkansas’ Governor), President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered the public school to allow entry to the Little Rock Nine, as they would come to be known.

Nearly 60 years later, on Thursday, Feb. 16, Valencia College welcomes to its West Campus, Minnijean Brown Trickey, a surviving member of the Little Rock Nine. In an event open to the public, Brown Trickey will deliver a keynote speech on her experience as a pioneer in public school desegregation.

Brown Trickey will speak from 5:30-6:15 p.m., contextualizing the harrowing time in both our nation’s history and her personal story that, in many ways, set in motion the Civil Rights movement of the 50s and 60s. Her speech will be followed by a 30-minute Q & A with attendees, in the West Campus Special Events Center.

Earlier in the day, Brown Trickey will deliver a speech just for Valencia students and faculty on the history of desegregation followed by a panel discussion with Professors Rudy Darden and Stanton Reed.

This event is a part of an ongoing series to celebrate Black History Month in February, as well as a special anniversary for Valencia College. This year we celebrate 50 years of inclusive, affordable and transformative education for all Central Floridians, without discrimination against race, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation or financial standing.

Valencia College: Celebrating 50 Years of Better Tomorrows

To learn more about events celebrating Black History Month and Valencia’s 50th Anniversary visit our website at

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