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Today's newsletter is 755 words — a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: 70 years post Brown v. Board of Education

Choropleth map of U.S. counties showing the estimated level of segregation between Black and white students in K-12 public schools. Schools in counties in the southern U.S., southern California and Northeast tend to be more segregated than counties in the Pacific Northwest and Midwest.
Data: Stanford Education Data Archive. Note: Index ranges from 0 to 1, where 0 implies no segregation (all schools have identical proportions of Black and white students), while 1 implies complete segregation (no Black student attends a school with any white students, and vice versa). Map: Axios Visuals

As the U.S. marks the 70th anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling today, American public schools are growing more separate and unequal even though the country is more racially and ethnically diverse than ever.

Why it matters: Decades after the decision and the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the U.S. has moved toward policies that increase the isolation of Black and Latino students.

Flashback: Utah did not legally segregate schools, former BYU history professor Thomas Alexander noted in his book "Utah, the Right Place."

  • But "most discrimination in Utah resulted from restrictive real estate covenants, policies of private businesses, and patterns of residential living," he wrote.

What they're saying: The legacy of racist housing practices, such as redlining, has led to segregated schools in the state, Jeanetta Williams, president of the NAACP tri-state area of Utah, Idaho, and Nevada, told Axios.

  • "If you were Black or brown you could only buy a house in [certain areas]," she said. "When schoolchildren were able to attend school, they were attending schools based on where they lived."
  • Williams said the effects of redlining on schools are most notable on Salt Lake City's west side, where the majority of residents are people of color.

Between the lines: The resegregation of America's public schools coincides with the rise of charter schools and school choice options, and as civil rights groups have turned away from desegregation battles.

The other side: Debbie Veney of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools tells Axios that neighborhood schools and charters are not causing racial segregation, but simply serving the students who appear at their doorsteps.

  • "The researchers might instead focus on why white families move from neighborhoods and pull their children out of schools when too many Black, Brown, or low-income kids start showing up. When we try to integrate, they leave."

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Things to do

📆 Upcoming events around the city.

Girl Dinner at Publik Coffee Roasters on May 24:

Indulge your taste buds with delectable creations from Utah's finest female chefs at our event. Dress to impress and strike a pose with our vibrant poppy food art for Instagram-worthy memories.

Hosting an event? Email [email protected].

2. Old News: School leaders reacted to SCOTUS ruling

Newspapers archives from the Salt Lake Tribune (left) and the Ogden Standard-Examiner. Courtesy: Utah Digital Newspapers.

Most Utah school administrators praised the landmark SCOTUS ruling to outlaw racial segregation in schools, while some even went as far as to deny any racial tensions existed, per an Axios analysis of newspaper archives.

State of play: In the wake of the ruling, school districts throughout the state operated business as usual with no major policy changes since Utah never legally segregated schools.

What they said: "The decision is fundamentally right," E. Allen Bateman, state superintendent of public instruction, told the Salt Lake Tribune a day after the high court's decision.

  • "If we hope to maintain our position and leadership in the world today with the peoples of other races and nationalities, we must do everything possible to show that we are actually practicing equal treatment for all peoples within our country," he said.

Between the lines: Some superintendents denied their schools dealt with any racial issues.

  • "The racial problem has never faced the Davis County School District, which allows all students to attend regardless of race," then-superintendent Samuel Morgan told the Tribune.
  • Salt Lake City schools were "markedly free" of racism, then-superintendent M. Lynn Bennion said.

Reality check: C'mon, it was the 1950s and a decade before the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The bottom line: The biggest challenges impacting students of color today are book bans that limit perspective and the dismantling of diversity, equity, and inclusion offices and programs in the state, Williams said.

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3. Fry Sauce: Cox praises the U's handling of protests

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

🪧 Gov. Spencer Cox praised the University of Utah for how it handled pro-Palestinian protests on campus in late April. Cox said the university "absolutely did it the right way" by sending officers in riot gear to disband the encampment. (The Salt Lake Tribune)

🛒 eBay's 240,000-square-foot facility in Draper will hit the market soon as the company looks to relocate. It opened in 2013 and was expected to employ more than 1,400 people through 2033. (FOX 13)

🗳️ All 18 Republican candidates who qualified for the primary, including for governor, attorney general, and U.S. Senate, will debate ahead of the June 25 election. Find the full schedule here.

4. 1 mural to go: Tell us where it is

Where is this mural? Photo: Kim Bojórquez/Axios

Several new murals have popped up across Salt Lake County.

State of play: Can you guess where this mural is located?

  • Let us know by responding to this email and we'll send a prize to the first person who gets it right.

🐟 Kim plans to cook this miso black cod recipe.

😶‍🌫️ Erin is out.

This newsletter was edited by Ross Terrell and copy edited by Patricia Guadalupe and Aurora Martínez.