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The new Center for Diversity, Inclusion & Social Equity opens on the site of former Hockessin Colored School #107

Quinn Kirkpatrick
Delaware Public Media

After 10 years of work, the HS #107C Center for Diversity, Inclusion & Social Equity is open.

The building with ties to the landmark Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation case was saved by the Friends of Hockessin Colored School #107 in 2012.

In 2021, ground was broken on a $1.7 million redevelopment project to give the school a new life.

Former HS #107 student James “Sonny” Knot calls the center a blessing for the community, adding he can rest easier knowing it, and its history, will never be torn down.

“I can bring my kids here, my grandkids and all, and show them what it was like to go to a one room school with 6 grades and one teacher. They don’t believe me when I tell them, but now I can show them,” Knot said.

The building contains items from when it was active as a school - including desks, books, and the chalkboard used in the one-room classroom.

School groups are invited to take tours and learn about the history of segregation in the state, and understand the role history takes in shaping the present.

Dr. Lynette R. Edwards is the historian and researcher for the school, as well as a board member. She says the Center will also have partnerships for its diversity training program.

“People will be coming to the building to be trained in what we call our diversity and inclusion model, but the first part is to learn about the history of how we all came together. So we have partnerships happening now with the National Park Service. We have partnerships that are also happening with the University of Delaware, and Delaware State is involved.”

She adds more programs focusing on the center’s mission of education and inclusion will be launched outside of the school itself in the future.

New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer says that the new center will serve as an important tool to highlight prevalent social issues across the country, as well as offer solutions to solve them.

“If you go to areas across our state and our country you can find children getting really low quality education. Too many of those children are students of color,” explained Meyer. “You can go to workplaces where race- racial hostility, racial bias- is still a major issue. And we’re hoping that this place can be a haven for education and understanding to move our community forward.”

More information on the new HS #107C Center for Diversity, Inclusion & Social Equity can be found online at

Quinn Kirkpatrick was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware, and graduated from the University of Delaware. She joined Delaware Public Media in June 2021.