Civil Rights activist to speak

Minnijean Brown-Trickey will walk onto the UW-Eau Claire campus in a few weeks, although she probably won’t need a military escort to do so.

Brown-Trickey was one of nine students who helped integrate Little Rock Central High School in the late 1950s, according to a university press release. Student Senate voted Monday night to approve paying $8,500 for the former Civil Rights icon to speak at Eau Claire, with donations from various departments and entities covering about $5,000 of the cost.

“I just think that this is a good opportunity to bring somebody that has a lot to do with Civil Rights history,” said Sen. Jay Nielsen, adding that the speaker would be able to relate to women’s issues as well. “So it will kind of be a double whammy. We’ll get two things in one.”

Sen. Janna Caspersen also said she is looking forward to Brown-Trickey’s arrival, adding that meeting someone like her is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“Meeting people that were actually there and participated is so much more than reading about them,” she said.

According to a university press release, Brown-Trickey will give a presentation at 7 p.m. March 10 in Schofield Auditorium and will hold a reception at 8:30 p.m. that night in the President’s Room of Davies Center. The next day, she will meet with students over coffee at 9 a.m. in the Davies Skylight Lounge. At 10 a.m. she will give a lecture in Davies Theatre.

Sen. Davendra Raj said he had a chance to talk to Brown-Trickey one-on-one last year during the university’s first-ever Civil Rights Pilgrimage to the South.

“She was very real,” he said. “It’s weird because we hear about her, read about her . and then just seeing her in person and interacting with her and seeing that she’s so cool and that she wants to talk to people – she really wants her story to be heard.”