Fifty-four citizens were sworn in at Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site on Friday, January 25th. The fifty-four freshly minted citizens were a diverse crowd hailing from Argentina to Vietnam and everywhere in between. The oath of allegiance was recited in the historic auditorium of the formerly segregated Monroe Elementary School, where several children of plaintiffs in the Brown v. Board of Education case attended classes.
Chief of Interpretation Dave Schafer started the program by welcoming the gathered crowd and gave a brief recounting of the ongoing struggle for equality, and named several national park locations dedicated to preservation and interpretation of those stories. Following each new citizen’s name and profession being read, the citizens announced their own country of origin. Judge Janice Miller Karlin’s ruling on the motion for citizenship was met with applause. Following the ceremony the opportunity to register to vote was eagerly taken up by many of the new citizens excited to be part of the civic process.