Minnijean Brown Trickey, civil rights activist and member of the “Little Rock Nine,” joined a room of Noble Impact scholars this month to discuss the opportunity gap that persists in education for minority and marginalized students. As part of the “Little Rock Nine,” Minnijean was one of nine African-American students who broke the color barrier at Little Rock Central High School in 1957.
The day began with an address from Minnijean Brown Trickey and fellow civil rights activist and daughter Spirit Trickey to 50+ students in the Noble Impact program. (See the full interview here.) Students, then, were challenged to collaborate in small teams to identify and produce solutions for problems in education related to the opportunity gap. The event was part of Noble Impact’s civic innovation programming, which puts students in the driver’s seat to solve problems that affect their lives and communities, while providing them with frameworks, mentors, and feedback to guide the process.
The day ended with all teams presenting their ideas for change to a panel of community members, which included:
- Minnijean Brown Trickey, Civil Rights Activity and “Little Rock Nine” member
- Skip Rutherford, Dean of the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service
- Angela Galvis Schnuerle, Little Rock attorney and Partner of the Immigration Law Center
- Jason Hamilton, Executive Director of Arkansas Commitment
From school funding and zoning to mental health services, ideas for solving the opportunity gap in education were plenty. We look forward to supporting students as they continue growing their thoughts on achieving education equity.
Noble Impact would like to give a special thanks to Retrocat Media for filming the day; the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center for providing the beautiful space the event was held in; the Little Rock Central Historic Site for providing resources and support to make the event a reality; Education Pioneers for sending fellows to engage with the students; and all of the students, community leaders, and volunteers who provided time and valuable ideas towards this worthy cause.
To learn more about the event, visit http://opportunitygap.eventbrite.com. You can also find pictures from the event on Noble Impact’s Facebook Page and watch the full interview with Minnijean Brown Trickey on Noble Impact’s YouTube channel.