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September 28, 2006

CCNY PAYS TRIBUTE TO FORMER PROFESSOR AND PIONEERING EDUCATION PSYCHOLOGIST KENNETH CLARK OCTOBER 3

– Clark to Posthumously Receive CCNY President’s Medal –

NEW YORK, September 29, 2006 – The City College of New York will pay tribute Tuesday, October 3, to one of its most prominent professors, Dr. Kenneth B. Clark, whose research findings were instrumental to the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling that declared school segregation unconstitutional. 

The College will host a roundtable for academics, “The Scholarly Legacy of Kenneth Clark,” from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., followed by a public tribute in The Great Hall, beginning at 7 p.m. During the tribute, City College President Dr. Gregory H. Williams will present the CCNY President’s Medal posthumously to the family of Dr. Clark, who passed away last year.  The event is co-sponsored by the Northside Center for Child Development, Inc. 

The tribute will also include presentation of CCNY’s first annual Kenneth B. Clark Prize to Dr. Errol Rodriguez, who won the award as a doctoral student in clinical psychology at the CUNY Graduate Center, and remarks by several notable figures, among them prominent attorney and civil rights leader Vernon Jordan.

Dr. John Hope Franklin, James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of History at Duke University, will be the keynote speaker. He is the author of From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African-Americans, now in its seventh edition.

Dr. Clark (1914-2005) and his wife Dr. Mamie Phipps Clark (1917-1983), both educational psychologists, challenged the notion of differences in the mental abilities of black and white children. In 1946, the Clarks founded the Northside Center for Child Development in Harlem, where they conducted experiments on racial biases in education.

Their findings were presented at school desegregation trials in Virginia, South Carolina, and Delaware. In 1954, those findings were cited in a famous footnote to Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kan., the landmark Supreme Court decision that declared public school segregation unconstitutional.

Dr. Clark achieved many firsts. He was the first African-American to earn a doctorate in psychology at Columbia, the first to hold a permanent professorship at City College, the first to join the New York State Board of Regents and to serve as president of the American Psychological Association. 

In addition to his work as a psychologist and educator, he assisted corporations with racial policies and minority hiring programs. His books include Prejudice and Your Child (1955), Dark Ghetto (1965), A Possible Reality (1972), and Pathos of Power (1975).

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