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May 17, 1954. The United States Supreme Court ended the legal idea of "separate but equal" defined in 1896 by Plessy v. Ferguson. The decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas not only affected segregation in schools, it can also be argued that it pushed the Civil Rights movement to the forefront of national discussion.

Fifty years later the impact of the decision is still being felt, and the discussion is still continuing. Did the legal dismissal of segregation bring an end to social segregation? How does the debate over affirmative action look in the context of history? How did this court case affect individuals fifty years ago, and how does it affect them today?

The Critical Issues Symposium looks at why fifty years later a court single court decision is still a critical issue. With a combination of speakers, discussions, films, and performing artists we will not only learn the history of Brown v. Board, but evaluate its success and apply its lessons to issues of race today.