SALISBURY, MD---In 1957, nine African-American students in Little Rock, AR, changed the world.
Known historically as the “Little Rock Nine,” they were the first African-American students admitted to the newly integrated Central High School, despite efforts by the Arkansas National Guard to keep them out. U.S. Army troops were deployed to ensure their safety during those first tumultuous days.
Dr. Terrence Roberts, one of the Little Rock Nine and the official desegregation consultant for the Little Rock School District since 1998, reflects on the state of diversity in schools today versus five decades ago as this year’s E. Pauline Riall Lecturer at Salisbury University. Roberts’ talk is 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 3, in Holloway Hall Auditorium.
A reception follows, during which Roberts is available to sign books for sale about the Little Rock Nine. The next day, Roberts delivers an informal lecture 9:30 a.m. in the Great Hall of Holloway Hall, including a question-and-answer session.
“We continue to be confused by the construct of race,” Roberts said. “Our concept of community is embryonic, the primary tasks of culture elude us, and our spiritual compass seems to be in great need of calibration. Public schools are becoming re-segregated, and private, uniracial schools are cluttering the horizon. The lessons from Little Rock can lead us to grater understanding and awareness about these issues.”
Roberts is chairman of the Master’s in Psychology Program at Antioch University. A graduate of California State University and the University of California, Los Angeles, he obtained his Ph.D. in psychology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. He also heads a management consulting group dedicated to improving human relations in the workplace and serves as a diversity consultant for school districts throughout the United States.
The series is named in honor of its founder, E. Pauline Riall, long-time principal and teacher at SU’s Campus School. The series’ purpose is to bring to the University and community outstanding national lecturers in the field of education.
Roberts’ talk is free and the public is invited. For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.