One of the nine African-American students who collectively resisted opposition to desegregation by enrolling at Little Rock Central High School in 1957 will speak at Wright State University as part of activities to honor Martin Luther King, Jr.
Minnijean Brown Trickey will speak at noon on Thursday, Jan. 24, in the Apollo Room of the Student Union.
The Trickey speech is one of several MLK Week events.
On Wednesday, Jan. 23, the Apollo Room will be the site of the Soup or Bowl hunger awareness event from noon to 2 p.m. And on Thursday, Jan. 24, the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Awards ceremony will be held in the Apollo Room from 6 to 9 p.m.
One of the “Little Rock Nine,” the 16-year-old Trickey and her fellow students defied an angry mob and walked into the formerly all-white Arkansas high school on September 25, 1957, under the gaze of 1,200 national guardsmen.
Trickey is the subject of a documentary, Journey to Little Rock: the Untold Story of Minnijean Brown Trickey. The film has received critical acclaim in international film festivals in Africa, England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, the United States, South America and Canada. She has also been featured in Newsweek magazine and numerous television programs.
Trickey, 71, has devoted her life to diversity education and training, peacemaking, environmental issues, developing youth leadership, cross-cultural communication and gender and social justice advocacy. She served in the Clinton administration as deputy assistant secretary for workforce diversity at the Department of Interior and was the Shipley Visiting Writer for Heritage Studies at Arkansas State University.
For the past 10 years, Trickey has been a non-violence and antiracism facilitator for Sojourn to the Past, a 10-day interactive history experience for high school students.
Trickey holds a bachelor’s degree of social work in native human services from Laurentian University and a master’s of social work from Carleton University in Ontario, Canada. She currently lives in Little Rock.
King–a clergyman, activist and prominent leader of the African-American Civil Rights Movement–received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end racial discrimination. He was assassinated in 1968. In 1986, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a U.S. federal holiday.