Minister rallies for education equity for 60th anniversary of Brown v. the Board of Education

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When the Rev. Richard Freeman Sr. of Resurrection Baptist Church in Braddock was a fourth-grader in Georgia, his school became integrated, thanks to a U.S. Supreme Court decision known as Brown v. Board of Education.

As the 60th anniversary of the 1954 landmark ruling approaches Saturday, Rev. Freeman, president of the Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network, chaired a rally Tuesday at Freedom Corner in the Hill District, commemorating the decision and issuing a call for action for equity in education. About 50 people attended.

The rally was sponsored by Great Public Schools Pittsburgh, whose founding members include the interfaith network, Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers, One Pittsburgh, Action United, SEIU Healthcare PA and Yinzercation.

Other organizations throughout the nation are conducting events aimed at highlighting the importance of the case and seeking to have its promise realized.

The Brown decision ruled that separate schools for black and white students were illegal.

Speakers said work remains to be done.

Rev. Freeman said that "the atrocities" are still going on and "the fight is still on."

Nina Esposito-Visgitis, president of the Pittsburgh teachers union, called for social justice and equity and urged voters to choose candidates who support education and equality of access.

After the rally, some sought signatures on a pledge to be an "education justice voter."

Education writer Eleanor Chute: or 412-263-1955. First Published May 13, 2014 7:15 PM

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