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Featured Exhibit
la_palma_schl_1928

Courtesy of Anaheim Public Library,
La Palma School (ca. 1930)

A Class Action: The Grassroots Struggle for School Desegregation in California

In March 1945, five fathers in Orange County, California, brought a class-action lawsuit against four school districts on behalf of their own children and 5,000 other children that were being forced to attend segregated “Mexican schools.”

This exhibit tells the story of their landmark lawsuit, Mendez et al. v. Westminster School District et al., and reveal how community organizing and grassroots activism can produce positive change in schools and communities across the United States.

The interactive exhibit provides a physical space where visitors can explore the case, its origins, and how its legacy inspired others to go on to make a difference.

Exhibit highlights

  • Photographs and items from all plaintiff families
  • A mock classroom for visitors to explore and ponder
  • A courtroom reproduction that will enable guests to experience the uncertainty and hope of America’s justice system
  • Interactive elements and oral histories from people with firsthand experience of segregated schools
  • A learning center with books, newspaper articles and other materials
  • Space for community dialogue and civic engagement
  • A rich and varied event series

Appropriate for

  • Elementary school students and teachers (especially 4th graders studying California history)
  • High school students and teachers (especially 11th graders studying American history)
  • Adult learners

Learn More

To receive a gift copy of the film Mendez v. Westminster: Families for Equality by Erica Bennett with a small donation, contact the Fullerton College Foundation at 714-525-5651 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

For more information about the exhibit, please contact us.

 
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