Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient Speaks Sept. 19

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Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient Speaks Sept. 19 at Lewis University

Published: August 24, 2017.

Sylvia Mendez

As part of the events for Latino Heritage Month, Lewis University will host Sylvia Mendez, an American civil rights activist from 12:30-1:45 p.m. Sept. 19 in the Student Union on Lewis’ main campus on Rt. 53 in Romeoville. The event is free and open to the public.

Mendez played an instrumental role in the Mendez v. Westminster case, the landmark desegregation case. Mendez won the case and helped make California the first state in the nation to end school segregation. Seven years later, Mendez served as significant precedent for the NAACP in its U.S. Supreme Court school desegregation case Brown v. Board of Education. In 2011, President Barack Obama presented Sylvia Mendez with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.

The entire Lewis community celebrates Latino Heritage Month as a framework for understanding Latina/o history and culture and the contemporary triumphs and struggles of Latinos.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Office of Multicultural Student Services at or call (815) 836-5538.

Lewis University is an innovative and entrepreneurial Catholic university offering market-relevant undergraduate and graduate programs to 6,500 students. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis University is nationally recognized for preparing intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected and socially responsible graduates. Visit for further information.

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