A world-class institute of changemakers in the deaf and signing community.
Since 1864, we have been investing in and creating resources for deaf and hard of hearing children, their families, and the professionals who work with them.
Over 50 degree programs, with online and continuing education for personal and professional development.
Innovating solutions to break down barriers, and using science to prove what does and doesn’t work.
We make it easy for you to apply and enter here.
Ready to take the next step toward a college education?
Make lasting memories and grow in ways you never thought possible.
Gallaudet University takes great pride in honoring the legacy, courage, and vision of Louise B. Miller. Her actions in the lawsuit Miller v. D.C. Board of Education trailblazed a path for educational justice, setting the precedent for Brown v. Board of Education.
Gallaudet is taking action by designing a new memorial and walking path, which is the Louise B. Miller Pathways and Gardens: A Legacy to Black Deaf Children. This space will reflect upon the four attributes: awareness of Black Deaf people and their lived experience; the freedom that Ms. Miller’s advocacy brought to the city’s Black Deaf students; remembrance of the courtroom struggle for justice in learning; and healing for past injustices.
In 1952, Louise B. Miller, a Washington, D.C. mother of four children — three deaf sons and one hearing daughter — reached the end of her tolerance for the city’s biased regulations that forced parents like her to send their Black Deaf children away from the District of Columbia — at their own expense — to receive an education.
The injustice of sending their children great distances for an education, combined with the moral outrage and insult to human dignity that parents of Black Deaf children experienced, led Ms. Miller to initiate the process of challenging a law that was an affront to the core of democracy. She filed suit in federal court against the D.C. Board of Education on behalf of her Black Deaf son, Kenneth, and other Black Deaf children who were denied admission to Kendall School, with the aim of ending segregation and having their Black Deaf children educated within the District.
On July 3, 1952, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in their favor in Miller v. Board of Education of District of Columbia, stating that African Americans could not be sent outside a state or district to obtain the same education that white students could have within the state or district. This ruling led to the construction of Kendall School Division II at Gallaudet in 1953. Miller is thought to be a precursor to the 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, in which the Justices decided unanimously that racial segregation of children in public schools was unconstitutional.
Below you will find additional information hosted by the Center for Black Deaf Studies, including interviews with the Miller family.
Meet the Millers: Awareness
CBDS Miller Series Part Two: Freedom
Below are some renderings showing how the Louise B. Miller Pathways and Gardens: A Legacy to Black Deaf Children will look, with your support.
Renderings courtesy of MASS Design Group.
Your contribution today creates a unique place of unification through the memorial’s four main themes: awareness, freedom, remembrance, and healing. Ultimately, the memorial, gardens, and the gathering spaces will embody the legacy and the future of Black Deaf communities.
Gallaudet University is a federally chartered private and premier university for the deaf and hard of hearing since 1864.
Copyright © 2021 Gallaudet University. All rights reserved.
800 Florida Avenue NE Washington, D.C. 20002
Spring 2021 – Dec 12Fall 2021 – May 15