Return to Headlines

District Partners with Village of Hastings to Honor Important Piece of History

two girls on old (antique) photoOn Tuesday, the Board of Education heard from Hastings residents Eddie Crawford, Caitlin Chang, and Jennifer Ito, and Hastings Historical Society’s Board President Natalie Barry, about a village and district program launching this fall that will commemorate the life-changing work of Drs. Mamie and Kenneth Clark. This path-breaking partnership with the village will honor an important piece of Hastings' history, one which has had a nationwide impact. 

Leadership of this multi-phase project has come from Social Studies Teacher Greg Smith and Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator Dr. Jenice Mateo-Toledo and includes a series of activities for students this fall:

  • September-October: An exhibit about the Clarks to be displayed in the HHS Lobby, before moving to the Hastings Historical Society through fall 2024.
  • October 12-13, 2023: A visit by Minnijean Brown-Trickey, of the Little Rock Nine, who lived with the Clarks in Hastings in the late 1950s, to speak with students.
  • October 14: Unveiling Ceremony for the Clarks’ Street Sign (signifying the co-naming of a portion of Mount Hope Blvd. as “Drs. Mamie and Kenneth Clark Way”) at the James Harmon Community Center from 2:00-4:00 p.m. 

In addition, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction Dr. Melissa Szymanski has organized a special learning session for families and students in grades 5-12 on Brown v. Board of Education, which was substantially shaped by the research of Drs. Kenneth and Mamie Clark.  

During the 45-minute zoom session, which will take place on Tuesday, September 26, at 7:15 p.m., participants will learn about the role Drs. Kenneth and Mamie Clark played in one of the most important court cases in the 20th century.

A Park Ranger from Brown v. Board of Education National Historical Park (Topeka, KS) will explain how legal segregation began in America and how Drs. Kenneth and Mamie Clark were able to provide evidence that led to the desegregation of public schools and influenced the Civil Rights Movement. There will be 15 minutes for a Question-and-Answer portion at the end of the presentation.

  • To RSVP, please click here. To join the Zoom, please click here. When prompted, enter the passcode: 866068.

This information is also available on the district calendar of the website and in the Hastings Weekly.