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Civil Rights Week

Civil Rights Week

Presidential Speakers Series to Feature Cheryl Brown Henderson

Cheryl Brown Henderson will speak at the OU Presidential Speakers Dinner on Monday, Sept. 23, in Oklahoma Memorial Union. Mrs. Brown Henderson is the daughter of the late Rev. Oliver L. Borwan, who in the fall of 1950 filed suit on behalf of his children against the local Board of Education alleging the segregation being enforced was unconstitutional. This landmark case became known as Brown v. the Board of Education and was ruled by the U.S. Supreme Court as unconstitutional, starting the racial integration movement in public schools across the nation. Cheryl Brown Henderson is founding president of the Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence and Research. This event is part of the inaugural Presidential Speakers Series, formerly President’s Associate Dinner, and will focus on the topic of race and equity.

For information on attending, contact OU Special Events at or (405) 325-1701.

6 p.m. Reception

6:30 p.m. Dinner

Monday, September 23

George Henderson Papers Donation to OU Libraries

George Henderson, University of Oklahoma educator and activist, is donating the largest gift of materials by an African-American scholar to the Western History Collections archives in OU’s Western History Collections. Dr. Henderson has been a member of the OU faculty since 1967 and has been a leader in promoting ethnicc diversity and interracial understanding on the OU campus and throughout the country. The materials donated provide insight into Dr. Henderson’s personal journey from elementary school to doctoral graduate, from poverty to affluence, and from racial segregation to racial integration. Collection highlights include a significant contribution of Henderson’s papers, including materials associated with the impact of OU’s Human Relations department, many of his research publications, and documentation of his activism, as well as evidence of many honors and awards. 

Monday, September 23

Office of Diversity and Inclusion Community Conversations: History of Civil Rights: Then and Now

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion will host a community conversation with Stan Evans discussing the “History of Civil Rights: Then and Now” on Tuesday, Sept. 24, in Memorial Union. Stan Evans is an alumnus and former assistant dean for students in the University of Oklahoma College of Law.  He was the first African American to be appointed to a dean position at any law school in Oklahoma and helped immediately increase minority enrollment for OU Law. For more information, contact or (405) 325-7314.

4 p.m.  |  Tuesday, September 24

Scholars Room, Oklahoma Memorial Union

Luncheon Honoring the 70th Anniversary of Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher's Admission to the OU College of Law

The OU College of Law will host a discussion with Interim Dean Katheleen  Guzman and Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher’s children, Bruce Fisher and Charlene Factory, on Wednesday, Sept. 25. Mr. Fisher and Mrs. Factory are children of Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher, the first African American student admitted to the University of Oklahoma Law School in 1949. Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher applied to the OU College of Law but was rejected. After receiving her rejection, she filed a lawsuit against the University that evolved into a three-year legal battle that was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court to be unconstitutional, allowing her to be admitted to the OU College of Law. Her case laid the foundation for future cases like Brown v. the Board of Education that would help propel the racial integration movement in public schools across the United States. For more information, contact (405) 325-4699. 

Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher Dedication

The University of Oklahoma will host a celebration and dedication ceremony for Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher on Thursday, Sept. 26, in Monnet Hall. In 1949, Fisher became the first African American student admitted to the University of Oklahoma College of Law after a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court ruled her rejection to be admitted was unconstitutional. This case and its historic ruling helped future cases receive support needed to pass racial integration in public schools across the United States. After graduating from the OU College of Law, Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher practiced law in Chickasha, served as faculty and department chair at Langston University, and in 1992 was appointed to serve on the Board of Regents for the University of Oklahoma.

3 p.m.  |  Thursday, September 26

Monnet Hall



A reception featuring a performance of the play “Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher Reflections” will follow the ceremony in the Conoco Leadership Courtyard. The play will be performed by OU Law's Black Law Students Association. The ceremony and reception are free and open to the public. For more information, contact or (405) 325-1701.

Immediately Following

Conoco Leadership Courtyard