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Event marks integration of public schools

Thursday, Feb. 21, 2008, 10 a.m. Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall

A celebration marking the 60th anniversary of the integration of New Jersey public schools will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, in Richardson Auditorium, Alexander Hall.

"Then and Now: Celebrating 60 Years of Integration in New Jersey Public Schools" will be hosted by Gov. Jon Corzine and Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells, who will offer introductory remarks. The event will mark the New Jersey constitutional mandate adopted in 1947, which prohibited segregation in the public schools and the state militia.

The celebration is co-sponsored by the Center for African American Studies, the Fields Center, the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the Program in Teacher Preparation. Nearly 400 students from high schools across the state have been selected by their teachers to attend the celebration.

The keynote address will be given by Bernard Freamon, professor of law at Seton Hall University and author of "The Origins of the Anti-Segregation Clause in the New Jersey Constitution."

The address will be followed by a panel featuring: Angel Harris, Princeton assistant professor of sociology and African American studies; Shirley Satterfield, a former student at the once-segregated Witherspoon School in Princeton; and a group of New Jersey high school students who will discuss race relations in schools today. The panel will be moderated by Penelope Lattimer, assistant director of the Rutgers University Institute for Improving Student Achievement and former assistant commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Education.

Giles Wright, director of the Afro-American History Program at the New Jersey Historical Commission, will give the closing remarks.

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