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Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence, and Research records

Call Number: RH MS 876


The records in this collection are those of the Topeka, Kansas-based Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence, and Research, established in 1988 as a tribute to the 1954 Brown v. Topeka Board of Education case and its plaintiffs and participants. These records include general information on the foundation and related subjects and events.


  • Creation: 1970 - 2023


Language of Materials

Materials are in English except one newspaper article from the Netherlands in Dutch.

Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

History of The Brown Foundation

In 1988, members of the Oliver L. Brown family and other local community members established The Brown Foundation as a "living tribute to the attorneys, community activists and plaintiffs" involved with the Brown v. Topeka Board of Education court case in 1954.

The Foundation has sponsored numerous activities and educational opportunities in order to create and support "equal education opportunit[ies] and multicultural understanding," focusing their efforts on minority students. Over the years, the Foundation has supported education by providing scholarships for minority teachers and students, developing minority history and Brown v. Board curriculum resources for educators, and providing educational programs and assistance for students around the world.

Teachers and students across the United States have access to The Brown Quarterly biannual newsletter. In order to further general understanding of diversity, the Foundation has offered workshops, annual symposia, programs for the general public, and has created a traveling exhibit about Brown v. Board and the African American public school experience in Kansas from 1855 to 1955.

In 1991, following years of work on the Foundation's part, the U.S. Department of the Interior designated Monroe School (a key Brown v. Board site) as a National Historic Landmark. The following year, the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site Act of 1992 established this school as a national park. The Brown v. Board National Historic Site was dedicated in 1992 and opened to the public 17 May 2004. The Foundation continues to work as a partner with the site.

In 2004, the Foundation celebrated Brown v. Board's 50th anniversary by participating in numerous commemorations around the country. They also worked with Congress to establish the Brown v. Board 50th Anniversary Presidential Commission.

The foundation holds a yearly anniversary celebration of the Brown v. Board decisions in May, and holds many smaller events throughout the year.


28.75 Linear Feet (28.75 linear feet (32 boxes) + 5 oversize boxes, 7 audio cassettes, 2 compact discs)

Scope and Contents

The Brown Foundation textual records date from 1970 to 2017 and are arranged in six series: Correspondence, Organization, Projects and Activities, Resources, Photographs, and Audiovisual material.

At RH MS 876 the correspondence includes both incoming and outgoing letters. Topics are general and those not covered within other series. At RH MS 1449 the correspondence has been organized chronologically, containing both incoming and outgoing messages that generally revolve around event planning and requests for Cheryl Brown Henderson to speak at other organizations' events.

Within the Organization Series are two subseries: Board of Directors and General. These subseries contain such materials as meeting minutes and documents discussed at meetings, committee information, the Brown Institute, foundation governance and law information, and scholarship information.

Within Projects and Activities are several subseries: Anniversary/Symposia, Books for Kids, "Brown Quarterly" newsletter, Education (which includes curriculum development and scholarship information), Miscellaneous, Oral History, Traveling Exhibit, and Videos. Each of these subseries contain such papers as correspondence, fliers/promotional materials, and planning information. The earliest dated items (1940s) are within this series and, generally, are photocopies of original materials. At RH MS 1449 the materials are split similarily within Projects and Activities but more correspondence has been filed with its corresponding event or program. These materials generally mirror those at RH MS 876, with the exception of the Education subseries containing information and material on the programs run by the Brown Foundation.

The Resources series contains materials relating to Brown and related issues but not created by the Foundation. These include items such as articles/clippings, event programs and posters, papers, and nonprofit management information.

Folder arrangement within each series and subseries is generally alphabetical by topic, with chronological arrangement of items within each folder. Materials taken from a specific binder have usually been kept in their original order. Additionally, chronological order is followed when alphabetical order cannot be followed.

Photographic arrangement at RH MS-P 876 generally mirrors the manuscript arrangement with events/activities, specific people, and, lastly, unidentified people. Photographs at RH MS-P 1449 are simply filed under Anniversaries, Projects and Activities, and People/Portraits. The negatives are largely unidentified, from various events, and they often do not match the photographs.

Oversize materials, including items such as articles, posters, clippings, and tote bags, are located at RH MS Q214, RH MS Q439, RH MS R184, and RH MS R431. Compact discs, which include both multimedia and music, are located at RH CD 8. There are 7 audio cassette tapes located at KC AV 49 that include meeting minutes, promotional materials for events, and resource material, and a documentary on compact disc at KC AV 50.


The Brown Foundation records at RH MS 876 date from 1970 to 2007 and are arranged in six series. The addition at RH MS 1449 is arranged similarily to the original collection with the series of Correspondence, Organization, Projects and Activities, Resources, Photographs, and Audiovisual materials. Later additions have been incorporated into the various call numbers within the collection.

Series list

  1. Correspondence
  2. Organization (subseries: Board of Directors and General)
  3. Projects and activities (subseries: Anniversary/Symposia, Books for kids, Brown Quarterly, Education, Historic Site, Miscellaneous, Oral History, Traveling Exhibit, Videos)
  4. Resources
  5. Photographs
  6. Audiovisual materials

Physical Location

RH MS 876

Physical Location

RH MS-P 876

Physical Location

RH MS Q214

Physical Location

RH MS R184

Physical Location

RH MS 1449

Physical Location

RH MS Q439

Physical Location

RH MS R431

Physical Location

RH MS-P 1449

Physical Location

KC AV 49

Physical Location

KC AV 50

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence and Research, 1991, 1994, 1998-1999, 2004-2007; Cheryl Brown Henderson, 2019-2021; Letha Johnson, 2019; Dorothy Dandrigde, 2021.

Related Materials

Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence and Research. [Miscellaneous publications about the Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence and Research.] [Topeka, KS: The Foundation, 199-]. Located at RH P941 at Kenneth Spencer Research Library.

Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence and Research. "The Brown Quarterly: Quarterly Newsletter for Classroom Teachers." Topeka, Ks: Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence and Research, 1996-. Located at RH Ser D1888 at Kenneth Spencer Research Library.

Separated Materials

Parker, Marjorie H. A History of the Links. 2nd ed. Washington, D.C.: National Headquarters of The Links, Inc, 1992. Located at RH D9830, Kenneth Spencer Research Library.

Carter, Jasper Newton. The Civil War Diary of Jasper Newton Carter: First Indiana Heavy Artillery. Edited by Robert R. Dunwell. [between 2000-2010?]. Located at Spencer Research Library at RH D9834.

Kendall, Dave. Black, White, and Brown: Brown versus the Board of Education of Topeka. Topeka, Ks: KTWU/Channel 11, Washburn University, 2004. Located at Spencer Research Library at KC AV 52.

Guide to the Brown Foundation Collection
Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence and Research records
Finding aid prepared by bkm, 2006; revised by mbw, 2007; revised by skt, 2010; revised by eh, 2018; revised by eje, 2024.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Support for the processing of this Collection was provided by the Dana and Sue Anderson African American Collecting Program Endowment Fund.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence and Research records, Kansas Collection, RH MS 876, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Revision Statements

  • 01-05-2018: Addition of 14.75 linear feet (16 boxes), 3 OS boxes, and several a/v items, eh
  • 2018-05-17: Removed info about CD no longer at KC AV 50
  • 2024-2-22: Interfiled .25 linear feet, added 3 folders, 5 oversize folders, made oversize call numbers visible in finding aid; eje.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States