minnijean brown trickey Background

Minnijean Brown Trickey was 16 when she was involved in one of the most pivotal acts of the American civil rights movement of the 20th century. As one of the Little Rock Nine, she and eight other black teenagers attended the all-white Central High, Little Rock, Ark., in 1957.

Visit to Youngstown: Her visit is sponsored by Black Educators, Youngstown Early College, the League of Women Voters of Greater Youngstown, Youngstown City School District, Partners for Workplace Diversity of the Williamson College of Business Administration at Youngstown State University, and the YSU Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity. Today she will speak at 9 a.m. at Chaney High School and at 1 p.m. at East High School.

On Tuesday morning at Trinity United Methodist Church in Youngstown, she spoke to students in Youngstown Early College. Comments and presentations were made by Suzanne Barbati of League of Women Voters; Dr. Anne McMahon of Partners in Workplace Diversity; attorney Yulanda McCarty-Harris of YSU’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity; Leon Stennis, who offered memories of Little Rock; Dr. Wendy Webb, superintendent of Youngstown City School District; and Mayor Jay Williams. The Rev. Lewis Macklin gave the blessing.

Education: Brown Trickey began her junior year at Central High School but eventually reacted to one of the attacks by white students and was expelled. She graduated in 1959 from New Lincoln High School in New York City and Southern Illinois University, where she majored in journalism. In Canada, she earned a bachelor’s degree in native human services from Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, and a master’s in social work from Carleton University in Ontario.

Family: Brown married Roy Trickey, a fisheries biologist, in 1967 and they moved to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, where they raised their six children.

Career: She served in the Clinton administration as deputy assistant secretary for Workforce Diversity at the Department of the Interior. As consultant, she has trained nationally and internationally in anti-racism, diversity, feminist research, cross-cultural communications and organizational change. She is a participant in the Sojourn to the Past Project, which has made it possible for more than 3,000 high school students to have an interactive history course that travels to civil rights sites, meeting with key leaders and participants in the Southern United States. Two groups from Youngstown city schools have participated in Sojourn under the direction of Penny Wells, a retired teacher. She had dinner with Youngstown’s Sojourn students Monday. Brown Trickey taught at Carleton University and at community colleges in Canada.

Awards: She is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Tribute by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation; the International Wolf Project Award for contributions to racial harmony; and, with the Little Rock Nine, she received the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Spingarn Medal and the Congressional Gold Medal.

Documentary: “Journey to Little Rock: The Untold Story of Minnijean Brown” follows her life of social activism.

Currently: Brown Trickey lives in Little Rock with her mother and sister.

Source: Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture


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