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McIlwaine Quarterly Speaker Series – “The Women of Brown”

The Women of Brown

by Donna Rae Pearson

Twelve Black women were at the forefront of the civil rights movement as plaintiffs in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case. Unfortunately, their contributions to the civil rights movement have often been overlooked, yet they are essential to the story of the Brown decision and its impact on American society. This presentation will shine a light on their stories and ensure that their names are not forgotten.

About the Speaker

Donna Rae holds a Master’s degree in History from Wichita State University and specializes in Public History. She is a museum specialist at the Kansas Historical Society. Prior to work at the Kansas Historical Society, she was the Local History Librarian at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library where she taught people how to conduct research and continues to work to preserve the stories of the Topeka community. She is also a commissioner on the City of Topeka’s Local Landmarks Commission and is also a board member for ArtsConnect located in Topeka.


“The Women of Brown” is part of Humanities Kansas‘s Speakers Bureau, featuring humanities-based presentations designed to share stories that inspire, spark conversations that inform, and generate insights that strengthen civic engagement.

Doors open at 1:00pm
Program starts at 2:00pm
Open to the public
Free admission

Next McIlwaine Speaker Series Topic-

November 9th – “Researching Your Home and the People Who Lived There” by Diana Starnes Dean

This quarterly speaker series is made possible through a generous grant from the Charles and Joanne McIlwaine Foundation.

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Floor 2

On the second floor you’ll find: The DeVore Auditorium containing the Victorian Silver Plate exhibit, the Vintage Drugstore, A Child’s World exhibit, and numerous special exhibits.

Learn more