The Lavin Agency Speakers Bureau

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Minnijean Brown-Trickey

When we challenge what we know to be morally wrong, we grow as a society.

Civil Rights Legend who Helped Desegregate Public Schools | Member of the Little Rock Nine

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Lavin Exclusive Speaker

In 1957, Minnijean Brown-Trickey changed history by striding through the front doors of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. As a member of the Little Rock Nine, she helped desegregate public schools—a milestone in civil rights history—and alter the course of education in America. Since then, she’s dedicated her life to social justice as an award-winning teacher, writer, and community worker. Her talks are a sweeping exploration of social change and a reminder that the fight is far from over.

Minnijean Brown-Trickey and six other Black students are denied entrance to Central high school by the AK National Guard. (Francis Miller/Getty)

In the autumn of 1957, Minnijean Brown-Trickey took her rightful place in what had previously been a whites-only school. In front of a worldwide television audience, she walked past armed guards and an angry mob to help set America on the path toward desegregation in public schools.

Incredibly, this was just the beginning of her fiery career as a social activist. For her work, she has received the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal, the NAACP Spingarn Medal, the Wolf Award, and a medal from the W.E.B. DuBois Institute, among other citations. Under the Clinton administration, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Workforce Diversity at the Department of Interior. She has also appeared in two acclaimed documentaries: Journey to Little Rock: The Untold Story of Minnijean Brown Trickey and HBO’s Little Rock Central: 50 Years Later.

In her adult life, Brown-Trickey continues to be an activist for minority rights. She was the Shipley Visiting Writer for Heritage Studies at Arkansas State University, and she is a member of the Little Rock Nine Foundation that awards nine scholarships bi-annually. For the past twenty-two years she has been a nonviolence and antiracism facilitator for Sojourn to the Past, a ten-day interactive history experience for high school students. She has been featured in People Magazine, Newsweek, the BBC, the CBC, CNN, the History Channel, Oprah, Today and numerous other media.


The event was amazing! Ms. Minnijean is a complete delight and wowed our audience. I am still getting feedback from employees an entire week later.

Astound Broadband

Thank you Minnijean for reminding us how important it is to speak up and act. What a great speaker, and such an incredible person. She is a gem. If only there were more people in the world like her!


Soon into her hour-long talk, it became clear Trickey is still the person she was back then, the passionate and outspoken and society-challenging social activist.

Saginaw Valley State University Conference

Speech Topics

Social Justice
Return to Little RockA Seminal Moment in American Civil Rights and Education

As a living witness to history―and as an active participant who has helped shape it―Minnijean Brown-Trickey delivers a fascinating exploration of social change, diversity, and the battle against racism throughout the decades, from the beginnings of her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement to the present day. Unerringly hopeful but realistic, she is a stately speaker who helps today’s students understand both how far we have come and how far we still have to go in the battle for freedom and equality.

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