school desegregation

Learn how California led the way for national school desegregation

The City of Buena Park’s Community Services Department in partnership with The Museum of Teaching and Learning (MOTAL), the Fine Arts Division and the Senior & Human Services Division, is proud to present A Class Action: The Grassroots Struggle for School Desegregation in California. The exhibition will be on display September 15 – October 5, 2019, in the Senior Activities Center at Ehlers Event Center, 8150 Knott Ave., Buena Park, CA 90620.

Visitors of all ages are encouraged to participate in workshops, lectures, and tours. To plan your visit, educators and members of the community are encouraged to make a viewing appointment by calling (714) 236-3870.


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 exhibition tells the story of their landmark lawsuit, Mendez et al. v. Westminster School District et al., and reveals how community organizing and grassroots activism can produce positive change in schools and communities across the United States. Experts have called this the most important court case about segregation before Brown v. Board of Education.

Exhibition highlights

The interactive exhibition 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. Exhibition features include photographs and items from all plaintiff families, interactive elements and oral histories, docent-led tours, and a space for community dialogue and civic engagement.

This article was released by the City of Buena Park.