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Cheryl Brown Henderson Joins National Alliance Board of Directors

The daughter of Oliver Brown, plaintiff in Brown v. Board of Education, has spent her career advocating for education and civil rights.

Washington, D.C. – The National Alliance for Public Charter SchoolsBoard of Directors has unanimously confirmed lifelong education and civil rights advocate Cheryl Brown Henderson as its newest member. Brown Henderson – the daughter of Oliver Brown, plaintiff in Brown v. Board of Education, and founding president and CEO of the Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence and Research – joins some of the most respected and experienced names in the charter school community, in the Board’s guidance of the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the charter public school movement. 

“Cheryl Brown Henderson has worked tirelessly to ensure all students benefit from the promises held up in Brown v. Board of Education: that of an accessible, free, and equal public education, regardless of location, socioeconomic status, or skin color,” said Brian Jones, Chair of the National Alliance’s Board of Directors. “Through the Brown Foundation, Cheryl has awarded scholarships to more than 100 students of color pursuing degrees in teacher education, established libraries for children in low-income communities, and convened national conferences on education and civil rights. Her work aligns perfectly with the ideals of the National Alliance, and the Board and I are honored to welcome Cheryl as our colleague.”

Brown Henderson is one of three daughters of the late Rev. Oliver Brown, who in the fall of 1950 joined 12 other parents, led by attorneys for the NAACP, in filing suit on behalf of their children against the local Board of Education. Her Brown Foundation work builds upon decades of experience in political advocacy, public policy implementation, and federal legislative development. Brown Henderson holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Baker University, a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling from Emporia State University, and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Washburn University. She is the recipient of various awards and recognition for work in education and community service, and for her work with Congress and the National Park Service to preserve sites associated with the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

“Charter public schools present families with the ability to choose a public option that is best for their child. This is the very choice my father fought for, and the choice I’ve spent my life defending,” said Cheryl Brown Henderson. “We should be focusing on public schools that work, regardless of their structure or name, and identifying means to share and scale what’s working. It is my pleasure to work with the National Alliance and fellow Board members to help make sure families have access to high-quality public school options in their communities.”

In 2016, Brown Henderson joined students, educators, and activists for an in-depth look at how public education is serving African American students, including how much, and how little, has changed since the 1954 Supreme Court decision. The panel discussion took place at Kansas City’s University Academy high school – one of 6,800 charter public schools serving nearly three million students across 43 states. At the time, Brown Henderson stated, “We know that students are hungry to learn and rise to meet the expectations set for them. When we believe in students, they deliver.”

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About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter movement. For more information, please visit www.publiccharters.org.