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March Collections of the Month: Civil Rights in Education collections

Special Collections is pleased to announce the opening of two new collections on civil rights in education, from individuals whose careers have been devoted to providing high quality education for all children: the Cynthia Brown Office for Civil Rights collection (MS2312) and the Phyllis McClure Civil Rights in Education collection (MS2313).

Through legislation passed since 1964, American schools that receive federal funding have been prohibited from discriminating against their students on the basis of race, sex, national origin, or handicap.

But these laws only have an effect if they are enforced. In 1980, Cynthia Brown became the first Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the Department of Education, tasked with leading the agency’s enforcement of these nondiscrimination laws. Her papers, including a significant amount of material on bilingual education, are now available here at Special Collections. Click here to explore Cynthia Brown’s collection: http://library.gwu.edu/ead/ms2312.xml

Since 1965, federal funds have also been appropriated to improve educational opportunities for low-income children through Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Longtime civil rights advocate Phyllis McClure exposed the misuse of Title I funds by school districts for their own general funding, and later became a champion of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. McClure’s papers are now available here at Special Collections as well. For more information, click here: http://library.gwu.edu/ead/ms2313.xml

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