Universities can and should foster an atmosphere where tolerance and understanding are generated through safe spaces where interactions between different people are the norm. The New York Times’ project on immigration highlights the fact that, since the 1990s, Hispanic and Asian student enrollment in American schools has risen by more than five million, greatly impacting educational and social development at all levels of learning. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Education, student-body diversity in higher education is important not only for improving economic and educational opportunities for students of color, but also for the social, academic, and societal benefits it presents for all students and communities. Students report less discrimination and bias at institutions where they perceive a higher … Taking a faculty position at a college where minority assistant professors are regularly tenured and promoted is less risky than taking a chance at a more homogeneous institution. This is important for educators and institutions if they need another reason to have a diverse faculty. A norm is a socially constructed concept which forces so many people to hide who they are so that they could blend in. We believe it is time for universities to undertake a discussion about this disturbing chapter of their history – a time when their own community led the development of white supremacist ideologies. As a result, it is particularly important for the school culture (and the classroom culture) to reflect, acknowledge, and celebrate diversity. their families, and the press. Those smaller things are [some of] the reasons why people feel included and like they are part of the team. What’s important, however, is why those universities are trying so hard to maximize diversity — even though no law requires it, and in several states affirmative action is explicitly forbidden. At the same time, despite idealistic aspirations and concrete progress, inequities in higher education persist. Our manuscripts address the experiences and outcomes of individuals from underrepresented and underserved communities, focusing on institutional barriers and challenges, patterns of access and achievement, and the impact of … Indeed, higher education, a sector that leads in so many areas, still has much progress to make in leading the way for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Those policies included new anti-miscegenation laws that criminalized interracial marriage. In addition to the reasons above, we believe that diversity is also an ethical obligation of American universities. They believed the immigration of these groups to the U.S. should be curtailed. It is the very people who are the most committed to doing diversity work who are experiencing this diversity fatigue. Today, diversity in higher education is the norm, as students display a high degree of diversity in terms of age, ethnicity, native languages, religion beliefs, family responsibilities, socio-economic status, academic preparation, learning styles, abilities… Campus cultural diversity enriches the educational experience. The future of access to higher education for many minorities may be in peril depending on the Supreme Court's ruling in the affirmative action case Fisher v.University of Texas that will determine the status of affirmative action policies. 8, No. They spoke of the “yellow peril,” the “flooding of the nation with foreign scum” and the arrival of “defectives, delinquents and dependents.” These views are not unlike President Trump’s recent complaints about Mexico sending “rapists” and “criminals,” or about admitting people into the U.S. from “shithole countries.”. Got something to say about what you're reading? An important explanation for why diversity matters in U.S. colleges and universities is that attending a diverse university will better prepare students for the future labor force. A New York Times article describes the renewed concerns of many universities that they will face a difficult and costly path toward maintaining diverse student bodies if race-based affirmative action were to be struck … Organizational researchers have consistently shown that new ideas are better fomented in diverse work teams, so faculty members who are surrounded by a great variety of colleagues with whom they can collaborate often have a creative edge. By using sojo.net you agree to our Privacy Policy, The Trump administration recently announced plans to scrap Obama-era guidelines that encouraged universities to consider race as a factor to promote diversity on campus, claiming the guidelines “advocate policy preferences and positions beyond the requirements of the Constitution.”. The problems of diversity at many institutions of higher education begin with access. Some estimates show that half of America’s current workforce now passes through college first and 75 percent of students in high school spend at least some time studying in a higher education setting. Chief among such sources of opportunity is higher education. From every circumstance, students bring a varying set of values, perspectives, and beliefs to the learning environment. The fact that thinkers from prestigious American universities provided the intellectual foundations for Hitler’s racial cleansing policies is scarcely mentioned in our country. A century after the misguided eugenics movement took a hold of higher education in the U.S., most universities now actively work to be inclusive and diverse. Join –Consider joining a campus committee to further DEI planning and practices at your institution. Stafford, Darlene E. and Henry S. Griffis. Eugenicists championed ideas of racial superiority. It completely stopped immigration from Asia. In 1896 the U.S. Supreme Court had paved the way for segregation when it ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson that keeping races “separate but equal” was constitutional. Reducing hate-related violence by enhancing understanding is a laudable goal of any institution of higher learning, especially in our current era of divisiveness and mistrust. I had assumed that race was a great connector and was surprised that other factors may matter more. Higher education institutions are facing student populations with increasing diverse academic and non-academic needs (LaRocco, Anderson & Archambault, 2013). Coerced or involuntary sterilizations continued to happen into the 1970s. Understanding the character of students is important in order to become a competent teacher. In these debates over merit and diversity, or fairness and social mobility, one thing seems to be a given: maintaining diversity in higher education matters significantly to universities. More than … In fact, teachers should be aware and recognize … Some projections suggest that by 2050 half of all U.S. workers will be people of color, and the percent of Muslim adherents in the U.S. population will double (Stafford and Griffis 2008). Review of Educational Research, 81(1), 29-68. Higher Education Studies; Vol. Advocates for diversity in higher education emphasize a variety of reasons. Quite the contrary, they fostered ideas that promoted racial disparagement and exclusion, causing great harm to the country in ways that we must still deal with today. Diversity gives people confidence and makes them proud to share who they are. As the U.S. Department of Education notes, students’ experiences with diversity help mold them into more engaged citizens. The pursuit of diversity now can help universities make amends for aggressive anti-diversity practices of the recent past. This move came as a blow to a university struggling to create a more welcoming gender, religious, and racial environment for students, faculty, and staff in Central Appalachia—a region with a long history of intolerance. Rev. Diversity in education represents a broad range of ideas and initiatives to create learning environments that are safe, inclusive and equitable for as many identities as possible. The eugenics movement also actively advocated in Congress for policies to prevent immigration by “undesirable” racial and ethnic groups. In a diverse college, students who were raised with deep-seated prejudices may learn that they have surprisingly similar beliefs and interests with students who appear, on the surface, different from them. In this episode of the Harvard EdCast, Richard Reddick discusses the expansion of DEI initiatives in higher education, the rise of diversity work as a profession, and how … These policies were developed to reverse fears of what President Theodore Roosevelt called “race suicide” or the dwindling of the Anglo-American “stock.”, New York lawyer Madison Grant, a graduate of Yale and Columbia, was a prominent eugenicist and friend of President Theodore Roosevelt. Diversity can alleviate pressure to follow the norm. We value your feedback! Numerous campus protests recently at Princeton, Harvard, Missouri, Brown, Yale, Cincinnati, Tennessee, and elsewhere have drawn attention to the ways in which university conditions can promote fear, injustice, violence, and abuse. Students who are exposed to diversity and inclusion curriculum in the classroom will be able to explore social problems and improve their critical thinking skills. Advocates for diversity in higher education emphasize a variety of reasons. Diversity matters in education because no one should have to feel embarrassed of who they are. Clearly, there is value in learning first hand that all Latinos are not immigrants, all African Americans do not share the same political perspectives, and all gay men do not act alike. For most college professors, research is an important component of their work. At the same time, we can be hopeful that the act of protesting can help to bring attention to and change these environments. If educators of different cultural backgrounds are aware that the educational institution openly hires those of diverse cultures, they are … A less common, but equally important argument for the value of diversity in higher education is that there is diversity in diversity. 1055 Words null Page. At the University of Tennessee, cutting funding for the Office of Equity and Diversity sends a message that diversity is not a priority. Universities can be sites for important social change. The historical images of the desegregation of universities in Alabama, Arkansas, and Georgia are iconic reminders that public institutions of higher learning were some of the first sites of U.S. integration. “The Nordic race will vanish or lose its dominance,” renowned Yale professor and economist Irving Fisher warned in 1921. The book was translated to German and after he became Fürher, Adolf Hitler wrote a fan letter to Grant thanking him and praising the book as “his Bible.”. Sadly, the “all men are created equal” proclamation was not a guiding principle for our universities not so long ago. These campus protests have drawn further attention to the issue of diversity, and they have forced those of us in the Department of Sociology at the University of Tennessee to better articulate the value of diversity to our students. Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi shows that in the darkness of loss, there can be great meaning in the searching. Since the April decision, students, faculty, and staff at the University of Tennessee have repeatedly rallied in protest. Jesus appears in hundreds of songs in every secular genre. They must embrace their renewed values and help lead our nation toward a more just and equitable future. Diversity Promotes Creativity At its core, creativity is all about bringing together different ideas and transforming them to make something new, unique, and personal. On the Importance of Diversity in Higher Education The American Council on Education (ACE) has a longstanding record of commitment to access to higher education for all qualified Americans and to the advancement of equal educational opportunity. They range from business oriented considerations, like the need for a diverse and well-educated workforce to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse marketplace or the belief that diversity fosters innovation and creativity. Mariama White-Hammond , founding pastor of New Roots AME Church in Dorchester, Mass., offers a sermon on the Genesis creation story and our role in that story. Accordingly, they regarded Africans, Asians and even Southern and Eastern Europeans as inferior. Witnessing these differences is important. A misguided perception of racial diversity (just one form of diversity), is that people of one race bring a different perspective to an environment than people of another race. That diversity comes with a host of benefits at all levels of education and in the workforce. They range from business oriented considerations, like the need for a diverse and well-educated workforce to meet … The Importance Of Diversity In Higher Education. Some projections suggest that by 2050 half of all U.S. workers will be people of color, and the percent of Muslim adherents in the U.S. population will double (Stafford and Griffis 2008). The agencies also hosted an interagency listening session for education, housing, and transportation leaders at the U.S. Department of Education's headquarters in Washington, D.C. And the movement succeeded. In 2014, U.S. public schools hit a minority majority milestone with Latino, African-American, and Asian students having surpassed the number of … Thus, colleges and universities with a strong record for attracting and retaining diverse students and faculty may be attracting the best candidates, overall. Stephanie A. Bohon, University of Tennessee, A publication of the American Sociological Association, Copyright © American Sociological Association. A significant strength of the American higher education system (Morphew, 2009), institutional diversity as an “ideological pillar” (Birnbaum, 1983, p. ix), has allowed postsecondary institutions to more effectively serve a diverse student population and their needs; it has both afforded opportunities to those historically underserved as well as removed barriers to both access and entry. 2011. Harvard University stated that it plans to continue to use race as an admission factor to “create a diverse campus community where students from all walks of life have an opportunity to learn from and with each other.”. “A review of millennial genderation characteristics and military workforce implications.” Center for Naval Analysis, http://www.cna.org/documents D 18211. The Work Before Us These programs affected all racial groups but especially targeted women, minorities and the poor. College is often the first opportunity young people have to interact with people who are different, and these interactions make them worldlier and better prepared for a globalized work force. For instance, black students were not admitted to the University of Texas and many other universities until the 1950s, and lack of black representation among students and faculty remains an issue. The work of racial justice and the 2020 election. According to the National Viewpoint: The Importance of Hiring a Diverse Faculty report, “Diversifying the faculty reduces the amount of discrimination claims. It is also timely to reflect on the extraordinary impact universities can have in our nation and the world. Bowman, Nicholas. This commitment is reflected in ACE’s positions on public policy, its programmatic activities, and its Similarly, Gregory L. Fenves, president of the University of Texas at Austin, noted how the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016 “affirmed the University of Texas’ efforts to enroll a diverse student body.” He also stated that “diversity is essential” to the university’s efforts to provide the highest quality education. We write not only as professors but as higher education administrators with a keen interest in diversity on campus. Thus, in reality, there is a great diversity of perspectives within members of the same race, the same ethnicity, the same gender orientation, and the same religion. Diverse views, which arise from divergent human experiences, stimulate innovation. Minority students and faculty will scrutinize opportunities at less diverse institutions more carefully than opportunities at fully integrated institutions. The Importance of Diversity & Cultural Awareness in the Classroom Drexel University School of Education Cultural diversity in the classroom is on the rise. We define diversity, equity, and inclusion based on language from the D5 Coalition, Racial Equity Tools Glossary, and UC Berkeley:Diversity includes all the ways in which people differ, encompassing the different characteristics that make one individual or group different from another. Despite the decades that have passed, I vividly remember a freshman year conversation with an African student from Ghana who revealed (quite surprisingly to me) that he felt he had little in common with the African American students on campus. At many institutions of higher education institutions are facing student populations with increasing diverse academic and non-academic needs (,. From Northern Europe, like Anglo-Americans – was the master race be curtailed and... Experiences, stimulate innovation Association, Copyright © American Sociological Association identity categories are primary aims of educational research 81. 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Students to learn from one another transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi shows that in classroom!, cutting funding for the Office of Equity and diversity sends a message that diversity is importance of diversity in higher education... Classroom Drexel University School of education notes, students ’ experiences with diversity help mold them into more citizens... People feel included and like they are administrators with a host of benefits at all of. The immigration of these groups to the U.S. should be curtailed people to hide who they are to our and...

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