Impact of landmark Brown v. Board of Education case is focus of 2022 Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Day keynote

Cheryl Brown Henderson will talk about the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case and its impact as the keynote speaker for the 36th Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration.

Henderson is one of the three daughters of the late Rev. Oliver L. Brown, who, in 1950 along with 12 other parents and attorneys for the NAACP, filed suit on behalf of their children against the local Board of Education.

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka was the 1954 Supreme Court case in which the justices ruled unanimously that racial segregation of children in public schools was unconstitutional. Brown v. Board of Education was one of the cornerstones of the civil rights movement.

Grand Rapids Community College, Davenport University, and Grand Valley State University collaborate annually on events for Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Commemoration Day. The 2022 keynote is planned for 6 p.m. Jan. 17 at Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain Street NE in Grand Rapids.

The event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 5 p.m. Attendees can register at

“Our annual celebration amplifies Dr. King’s historical reflections and philosophies of attaining a fair and just society,” said Latoya Booker, Davenport’s executive director of diversity, equity and inclusion. “Cheryl’s presentation – ‘Brown v. The Board of Education: The Legacy Continues,’ will inspire attendees to take on persistent barriers to advancing educational equity. We are proud to bring Cheryl to Grand Rapids to share her message with our greater community.”

Henderson is the founding president of The Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence and Research, and owner of Brown & Associates, an educational consulting firm.

Henderson founded the Brown Foundation in 1988. It has provided scholarships to more than 100 students of color; presented awards to local, state and national leaders; established libraries for children in low-income communities; developed curriculum on Brown for educators across the country; and sponsored programs on diversity and educational issue.  

The Foundation in 1990 successfully worked with Congress to establish the Brown v. Board of Education National Park in Topeka, Kan., which opened in May 2004. The Foundation in 2001 successfully worked with Congress to establish the Brown v. Board of Education 50th Anniversary Presidential Commission, which served to provide a federal presence in the 2004 anniversary of the Brown decision.

Henderson has an extensive background in education, business and civic leadership, having served on and chaired local, state and national boards. She also has two decades of experience in political advocacy, public policy and federal legislative affairs.

Henderson has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Baker University in Baldwin City, Kan., a master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling from Emporia State University in Kansas. She has an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters from Washburn University and an honorary doctorate of Education from the University of South Florida.

To request accommodations to attend this event, please contact the Davenport Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at This event will be held in accordance with local, state and/or federal COVID-19 guidelines.

For more information or to RSVP for the event visit

Tech Tip: Group Vacation Responder

Google has been working on updating various applications to make them more accessible for users no matter where they are working.

The latest update is the ability to add a vacation auto-response to group emails, this must be completed by group managers, with holiday break right around the corner now might be the perfect time to try it out!

  1. Sign in to Google Groups.
  2. Click the name of a group you wish to add an auto reply to.
  3. On the left, go to Group settings and then Email options.
  4. In the Auto replies section, check the boxes next to the replies that you want to turn on and then enter a message. 
  5. Check “Enable auto-reply to non-members outside the organization” to set up an auto reply for senders outside of GRCC
  6. Check “Enable auto-reply to non-members inside the organization.” to set up an auto-reply for senders with a GRCC email address.
  7. Click Save changes.

For more information and helpful tips, please visit the IT Customer Support Portal or contact the IT Customer Support Desk at x4357.

If you have a suggestion or a Technology Tip you think can be useful, you can submit them by emailing 

Wellness Champion: GRCC’s pool offers opportunities for low-impact exercise

Madeline Dyer, GRCC’s aquatics director, standing by the pool smiling.

Be a champion! GRCC is helping students and employees focus on all areas of health and wellness as we emerge together from the pandemic.

Wellness is a full integration of physical, mental and spiritual health. That includes physical health, but so much more. During the next year we’re also looking at emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual, environmental and occupational health, and how we all can work to help ourselves and each other.

There are many resources at GRCC to help all of these types of wellness. Each week, we’ll introduce you to people and places here on campus ready to support you on your wellness journey.

Swimming isn’t just for summer at the beach. It’s a great, low-impact form of exercise that is available free to employees right here on the GRCC campus.

The GRCC natatorium is located on the northeast side of the Gerald R. Ford Field House and is available for lap swimming and water exercise once we return from break.

Madeline Dyer, GRCC’s aquatics director, has been with the college for five years. She was a member of the Grandville swim and water polo teams, and is working on a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Ferris State University.

She oversees a team of lifeguards and a six-lane, 25-yard pool that is a comfortable 81 degrees at all times.

The facility has an aquatic lift to ensure accessibility and has equipment available including kickboards, fins, pull buoys, water weights, and aqua-joggers.

There are many physical and mental benefits of swimming. Author Jenny McCoy’s Nov. 17 2021 article on the Self website notes swimming is great for people who are just starting their exercise routines or those looking for advanced cardio workouts.

McCoy notes swimming is an accessible, lifelong activity that helps with heart and lung health in addition to building muscles from head to toe. The low-impact nature of the activity is easier on joints than running.

GRCC’s pool offers lap swimming, water exercise, youth competitive swimming, U.S. Masters Swimming and American Red Cross Lifeguard training to all members of the Grand Rapids community. 

GRCC’s pool serves as a classroom during the academic year, as GRCC’s Exercise Science Department hosts Water Aerobics classes.

If you have questions about our hours of operation, please call our pool deck phone (616) 234-3505 or the main office (616) 234-3990. Additional details are here.

GRCC In the News 12/22/2021

Western Michigan professors secure $29.5M grant to support Grand Rapids-area children

12/21/21 MLive

KALAMAZOO, MI — Two Western Michigan University professors are expanding educational opportunities for Grand Rapids-area children with the help of a nearly $30 million grant.

… The program is a partnership between WMU and Baxter Community Center, Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative, Family Futures, Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids Public Schools, Kent Intermediate School District and LINC UP, the release said.

Ferris State president: ‘Isn’t this fabulous?’

12/21/21 The Pioneer (Big Rapids)

BIG RAPIDS – When Ferris football fans welcomed the Bulldogs back to Big Rapids on Sunday, following the 58-17 clobbering of Valdosta State, among the greeters was a very happy university president David Eisler.

… Eisler was president when a decision was made in 2012 to make a coaching change. Tony Annese, who had success on the high school and junior college level (at Grand Rapids CC) was picked by Weisenburger, who was hired by vice president Jerry Scoby with one of his assignments being to re-evaluate the football program.