The Maryland HBCU litigation: A Fifteen-Year Struggle for Justice and Educational Opportunity
Though they were born of necessity resulting from the disgraceful practice of separate but equal, America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (“HBCU”) have a proud legacy of educating Black students as well as students of all races. The HBCUs have achieved success despite being hindered by state-level policies and practices that are traceable to the era de jure segregation. Students and alumni from Maryland’s four public HBCUs filed a lawsuit in 2006, Coalition for Equity and Excellence in Maryland Higher Education v. Maryland Higher Education Commission, to correct current day wrongs connected to the past discriminatory policies. After fifteen years, two successful trials, and an appeal in the lawsuit, the Maryland General Assembly enacted legislation this year to settle the case that includes $555 million in supplemental funding to the HBCUs. On the 67th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, please tune in to hear key participants in the case and HBCU leaders discuss this landmark case and its broader significance to HBCUs.