May 16th Program at Hillburn School Marks First “Thurgood Marshall Day” in New York

May 12, 2010

On Sunday May 16th, Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity in collaboration with Senator Thomas P. Morahan, Assemblywoman Ellen C. Jaffee and Legislator William L. Darden will hold the Thurgood Marshall Day Inaugural Celebration to mark May 17th as Thurgood Marshall Day, an official day in New York State. The designating law, introduced by Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee (D-Suffern) and Senator Thomas Morahan (R-New City) commemorates the late Supreme Court Justice’s landmark desegregation victory in Rockland County, at the (then) Main School, now known as the Hillburn School, the site of Sunday’s program.

“I am pleased that Assemblywoman Jaffee and I were able pass legislation that designates May 17th as at day for commemorating the important contributions of Thurgood Marshall, said Senator Morahan.

Assemblywoman Jaffee said, “I am proud to have submitted the legislation with Senator Morahan that created Thurgood Marshall Day in New York State. That one of our nation’s most outstanding justices won such a significant case in Rockland is an honor for our county and our state, even more so because it originated from a group of parents. The impact of community activism and Justice Marshall’s passion for equality in our public schools is as relevant today as it was in 1943.”

Legislator William Darden noted, “Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall is one of the genuine heroes in the history of the civil rights movement in America and a giant of unparalleled stature, for his stellar representation of equal education and equality for all students in public education. He successfully argued for the desegregation of schools in Hillburn, New York (1943) as well as the celebrated Brown v. The Board of Education (1954). Therefore, it is most appropriate and extremely significant that he is recognized and acknowledged by this legislation, proclaiming May 17th in perpetuity as Thurgood Marshall Day in the State of New York.”

Les St. Louis added, “Our local chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. is pleased to share in honoring our dear fraternity Brother and civil rights champion, Thurgood Marshall, on this perpetual day in NYS each year. We were proud to help shine the light on his early impact here in Rockland County. Alpha Phi Alpha develops leaders, promotes brotherhood and academic excellence, while providing service and advocacy for our communities.”

NAACP Spring Valley President Willie Trotman extended his appreciation by saying, “On behalf of the NAACP, I thank Legislator Darden and Assemblywoman Jaffee for inviting me to the floor of the Legislature when the vote was taken in Rockland County. Thurgood Marshall understood that public education is the cornerstone of a just and equal society.”

Date: Sunday, May 16, 2010

Location: The Hillburn School, 45 Mountain Avenue, Hillburn, NY 10931

Time: Sunday - May 16th 3-5 PM