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July 13, 2015

What follows is the text of a "sermon" that I gave as a "congregational reflection" to an all White audience at the Bethel Congregational United Church of Christ on Sunday, June 28th. The sermon was begun with a reading of The Good Samaritan story, and this wonderful quote from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah. A couple weeks ago, I was debating what I was going to talk about in this sermon. I told Pastor Kelly Ryan I had great reservations talking about the one topic that I think about every single day. Then, a terrorist massacred nine innocent people in a church that I went to, in a city that I still think of as home. At that point, I knew that despite any misgivings, I needed to talk about race.

July 3, 2015

Researchers find that among transgender individuals there may be limited support for the inclusion of a transgender category in the U.S. Census.

July 2, 2015

A 40-year-old Supreme Court decision obligates schools to assist English-language learners. San Francisco has just been ordered to figure out how.

July 1, 2015

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday again agreed to hear a legal challenge to the race-conscious admissions policy at the University of Texas at Austin, setting the stage for new arguments in a closely watched case that the justices decided once before, in 2013.

June 30, 2015

Fresh off their biggest legal victory, gay rights supporters began to expand their efforts beyond same-sex marriage to a broad push to rewrite civil rights law and extend protections to other personal and financial actions. A liberal coalition spanning gay rights groups and traditional African American leaders turned its attention to a new legislative bid to outlaw discrimination against homosexuals in employment, housing, financial dealings and other regular actions not protected under the Supreme Court’s ruling declaring same-sex marriage a constitutional right.

June 8, 2015

At the annual National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education, it’s not hard to get people thinking about diversity and inclusion: They already are. The challenge for the chief diversity officers, other administrators, professors, and students who met here last week lies back home — keeping those ideals on colleagues’ and classmates’ minds every day, not just when prompted by a complaint or a scandal.

June 5, 2015

New Demos report documents the patterns of student loan debt along racial and class lines with Black, Latino, and low-income students taking out higher loans than Whites and more likely to drop out with debt.

June 3, 2015

How Our Government Created 'Ghettos'. Historian Richard Rothstein studies residential segregation in America. His conclusion: "federal, state and local governments purposely created racial boundaries in these cities." This is a podcast that can be accessed at the link below. Select the May 14, 2015 podcast.

May 30, 2015

There is an ongoing debate around words used pejoratively to refer to different groups of people. Who gets to use words like “nigga” (or “nigger”) or “Redskin”? Moreover, who gets to serve as the arbiter in deciding who gets to use them? Are the words okay if used by members of the communities they were created to define? Is it ever okay for those outside of the community to use them? Is there some level of “downness” one can exhibit to get a pass?

May 22, 2015

The Asian-American population will grow 74 percent by 2040, but the number of this racial group’s registered voters will more than double, according to a new report. “This could be a game changer,” the report states. “Not only will Asian-Americans be a politically influential voting bloc in select areas, they have the potential to be the margin of victory in critical swing vote states during the next six presidential elections.”

May 18, 2015

A coalition of more than 60 Asian American organizations filed an official federal complaint against Harvard University on Friday. The coalition requested that Harvard be the subject of a civil rights violation investigation on the basis of what the coalition is calling discriminatory admissions practices. At a press conference held Friday afternoon, coalition leaders said that holistic, race-based admissions policies hold Asian American students to higher standards than all other racial or ethnic groups. They called on Ivy League schools to eliminate the consideration of race in admissions decisions. In addition, the coalition said that Harvard University has an unlawful quota for the number of Asian American students it will admit.

May 18, 2015

Cinco de Mayo is a low-key celebration at Huston-Tillotson University, a historically black institution that began in the late 1800s to educate freed slaves and their children. But it has taken on a more personal significance for a growing number of students at this small, private institution where one in five students today is Hispanic

April 22, 2015

Stanford psychologists Jennifer Eberhardt and Jason Okonofua experimentally examined the psychological processes involved when teachers discipline black students more harshly than white students.

April 16, 2015

Dr. Barry Mills worked to increase access and affordability to Bowdoin for low-income families and to students of color who otherwise might not have bothered to apply to the liberal arts institution in Maine, where 95 percent of the state’s population is White.

April 14, 2015

When a noose turned up on the campus of Duke University recently, some were shocked. Many, however — particularly those who had had the experiences of students or faculty of color on a predominantly White campus (PWI) — were not.

April 13, 2015

Proposals to require students to take a course related to diversity have been controversial on many campuses. But the University of California at Los Angeles has had one of the longest debates on the topic, with multiple votes (going in different directions), dating to 2004.

April 9, 2015

I should have been prepared for profiling at American University. But I wasn’t. The first time I was profiled by the campus police, I was a grad student and adjunct writing teacher. I was passing through a building when an officer stopped me and asked for my identification. The second time it happened, I was on campus to check my box and this time had a faculty ID to show the officer.

April 9, 2015

Undocumented students in Texas are eligible for in-state tuition at public colleges and universities, but some Texas state lawmakers are attempting to change that.

April 8, 2015

The city of Philadelphia just joined the vanguard of states and cities implementing free tuition at local community colleges. Starting next fall, some recent high schools graduates entering the Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) will be eligible for scholarship funding that will make up the difference between CCP’s tuition and state and federal aid.