Dr. Terrence Roberts to visit Gloucestershire

This October - Black History Month in the U.K. - will see the county hosting Professors Terrence and Rita Roberts. Rita is a professor of African-American History whilst Terry is one of the famous Little Rock 9. Terry helped peacefully break illegal educational segregation in the USA as a 16 year old, back in 1957. He is a magnificent, inspiring and charismatic speaker who was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by President Clinton - this is the highest peacetime award possible in the United States. Rita and Terry will be speaking to the police force, council employees, the Black Workers' Network, the black community and to 4 schools. They have a very full programme and will inspire Gloucester and the county - as Terrence says "the only thing we have in common is our difference" and "we are all part of team universe".

Dr Terrence Roberts will be visiting a number of secondary schools and speaking to the police, council employees, the black workers network and visiting the black community in Gloucester.

For further information please contact:

  • Gill Oxley, Equalities Unit, Shire Hall.
  • Giles Diggle, CIRCLE, Hucclecote.
  • Stuart Butler, iRespect.

...some background: In the summer of 1957 the U.S. Supreme Court made its landmark decision striking down segregation in public schools. On Sept. 2 of that same year, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus called out the state's National Guard to surround Little Rock's Central High School to prevent Roberts and eight other African American students from entering for classes, citing the potential for civil disturbance. After weeks of unrest President Dwight Eisenhower sent members of the 101st Airborne Division to Central High to ensure the safety of the students. "The Little Rock Nine" became national symbols of struggle for racial integration.

Little Rock's high schools were closed during the 1958-59 school year, so Dr. Roberts completed his senior year at Los Angeles High School in Los Angeles, California. He continued his education at California State University in Los Angeles and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology. He received a Master's degree in social welfare from the UCLA School of Social Welfare, and a Ph.D. in psychology from Southern Illinois University. He is currently chair of the master's in psychology program at Antioch University in Los Angeles and has a private psychology practice. In addition, he is CEO of the management consulting firm, Terrence J. Roberts & Associates.

In 1998 Dr. Roberts was honored with a Congressional Gold medal for his contributions in the area of civil rights. He has been the desegregation consultant for the Little Rock Arkansas School District, assisting the district in complying with Federal court orders to desegregate the school system. He serves as a member of various corporate, educational, and foundation boards and is a published author. Today, Terrence Roberts is still dedicated to the eradication of racism in this country. He tries to teach his students to celebrate, rather than negate, racial differences.