May 15, 2014
By SEIU President Mary Kay Henry
Washington, D.C.– Mary Kay Henry, President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), issued the following statement marking the 60th anniversary of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education:
"Sixty years after the historic Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, our public schools are still separate and still unequal.
"The growing gap between rich and poor has relegated low-income working families to neighborhood schools without the resources to give children the education they deserve. Neither the business community nor our elected leaders have done enough to address the problem.
"That's why workers are organizing in numbers we have not seen in decades – joining together on the job to raise wages and to build the power that's necessary to reclaim their neighborhood schools provide the education all our children deserve.
"We are standing on the shoulders of courageous parents, and students like 16 year old Barbara Rose Johns who organized and led a 450-student walkout at her high school in 1951 to stand up for equality and brought the struggle to the steps of the Supreme Court just three years later.
"Now it's up to all of us to honor this proud legacy by continuing to organize in the workplace and in our communities to reclaim our public neighborhood schools and to raise wages – the engine for a strong economy – so we can invest in excellent sustainable schools for all children regardless of zip code."