A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High School
On August 13 at 12:00 p.m. Central, attend the National Conference Keynote Address by Carlotta Walls LaNier, the youngest member of the Little Rock Nine and a civil rights icon.
In 1957, fourteen-year-old Carlotta Walls was the youngest Little Rock Nine member to integrate Central High School. She and eight other Black students faced angry mobs, racist elected officials, and federal intervention by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was forced to send in the 101st Airborne to escort the Nine safely into the building. Little did she realize that day that this was the beginning of a journey that would challenge prevailing attitudes, break down barriers, and forever change the social landscape of America. Overcoming her initial need to forget her turbulent past, Carlotta Walls LaNier has told her dramatic story for the first time in A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High School.
After graduating from Little Rock Central High School in 1960, Carlotta Walls attended Michigan State University and graduated from Colorado State College—now the University of Northern Colorado, which has awarded her an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters and on whose board of trustees she sits. In addition to receiving the Congressional Gold Medal and the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal, awarded to her as a member of the Little Rock Nine, Carlotta Walls LaNier is an inductee in the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame, Girl Scouts Women of Distinction and the National Women’s Hall of Fame. She serves as president of the Little Rock Nine Foundation, created to promote equality of opportunity for all, particularly in the field of education.
A key protagonist in one of the most gripping watershed moments of the Civil Rights Movement, Carlotta LaNier delivers her powerful keynote that reflect on history while inspiring hope for the future. An icon of perseverance and strength, in her lectures LaNier revisits the journey of the “Little Rock Nine” who led the nation on a turbulent path that challenged prevailing attitudes, broke down barriers, and forever changed the landscape of America. Her fascinating talk reflects on the history and current state of civil rights, race, and diversity.