Meet the Speakers
Meet the civil rights luminaries speaking at the 2018 NACSA Leadership Conference, Expect More.
As children, Sylvia Mendez and Terrence Roberts stood up to the onslaught of systemic racism surrounding public education. Their determination to attend good schools designated for white children despite the menacing attempts to stop them spurred a movement that led to the end of legalized segregation of America’s schools. Both speakers have received numerous awards for their activism, which has continued throughout their adult lives.
Sekou Andrews will also join the NACSA stage. Sekou is a former teacher turned actor, musician, and poet and has performed for audiences throughout the country, including such notables as President Obama and Oprah.
Join us in Orlando, Florida for NACSA’s 2018 Leadership Conference, Expect More on October 22 – 25, 2018. Registration is live and discounts are available through the end of August 2018.
Civil Rights Activist & Medal of Freedom Recipient Sylvia Mendez challenged segregation so that she and other Latino children could be provided the same quality education provided to white students. Her parents were plaintiffs in the landmark Mendez v. Westminster School District (1947) case that paved the way for Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and ended school segregation in California.
Miss Mendez and her family have received numerous awards and recognition. Two books and two documentaries have focused on her life and the lawsuit; a recipient of the US Congress Civil Rights Champion Award; a US Postage stamp commemorating the 60th anniversary of the appellate victory; a Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the National Parent Teacher Association are just a few of the many acknowledgments.
Terrence Roberts, Ph.D.
Terrence James Roberts was one of the Little Rock Nine, a group of African-American students who, in 1957, were the first black students ever to attend classes at Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.
These students made a heroic, and yet initially unsuccessful attempt to enter the school despite the presence of the National Guard and an angry mob of a 1,000 people attempting to stop them. In response, President Eisenhower sent US Army troops to accompany the students and remained for the entirety of the school year.
He and the other people of the Little Rock Nine were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by President Bill Clinton.
A schoolteacher turned actor, musician, two-time national poetry slam champion, entrepreneur, and award-winning poetic voice. He keynotes across the country and has performed pieces for such notables as Barack Obama and Oprah.
Sekou is the creator of Poetic Voice, a new, cutting-edge speaking category that seamlessly fuses inspirational speaking with spoken word poetry to make messages more moving and memorable.