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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 7, 2005

Civil Rights Pioneer To Speak At UI

Minnie Jean Brown Trickey, one of the Little Rock Nine, the first African-American students to attend Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., will discuss her life as a civil rights pioneer at the Englert Theater on Thursday, Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m.

Admission is free and open to the public. The lecture, sponsored by the University of Iowa Lecture Committee, is part of the 2005 Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Week, as well as the University of Iowa's Year of the Arts and the Humanities. This will be the first UI lecture held at the Englert.

On Sept. 25, 1957, under the gaze of 1,200 armed soldiers and a worldwide audience, Brown Trickey faced down an angry mob and helped to desegregate Central High. This seminal event in American history was just the beginning of Brown Trickey's long career as a crusader for civil rights. She has spent her life fighting for the rights of minority groups and the dispossessed. For her work, she has received the U.S. Congressional Medal, the Wolf Award, the Spingarn Medal and many other citations and awards.

Brown Trickey's life has been a powerful example of what one person can do to make the world a better place. Under the Clinton Administration, she served as deputy assistant secretary of the Department of the Interior responsible for diversity. Currently, she lives in Arkansas, and is continuing her work for civil rights and social equality. She is also working on her autobiography, tentatively entitled, Mixed Blessing: Living Black in North America.

A short question and answer session will follow the lecture.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. Persons with disabilities who require an accommodation to participate in this program should call 515-988-3714.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010,