In Montpelier, Vermont, high school senior Joelyn Mensah continues Brown's legacy by calling attention to the ways in which racism impacts students' lives inside the classroom.
"I think it's very fair to say that we're pretty much robbed of our education," she tells NBC. "As a black student, there have been many times where I have had to leave class because of some racist comments."
In order to address these issues of inequity, insensitivity and lack of representation in her predominantly white community, Mensah founded the Racial Justice Alliance. To celebrate Black History Month, the group decided to work with their school administration to raise a Black Lives Matter flag on campus.
Mensah and her peers faced significant pushback from legislators including, State Representative Thomas Terenzini who called Black Lives matter a "national anti-police organization."
"I think black lives matter in all realms," Mensah explained to the Burlington Free Press. "And really the education system is where it starts."
After overcoming resistance from lawmakers and even threats of violence, Mensah led a large group of students, teachers and police officers in raising the flag on February 1st.
According to State Representative Kiah Morris, this action made Montpelier High School one of the first public schools in the nation to raise the Black Lives Matter flag, calling it a "bold and courageous move."
"It is imperative that we collectively, as a community, work to dismantle the systemic racism embedded in our schools," Mensah tells Mic. "Even after Black History Month comes to an end, we will still be here, our education will still matter and we will still be black."
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