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importance of diversity in higher education

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 … Chief among such sources of opportunity is higher education. Stafford, Darlene E. and Henry S. Griffis. Diversity matters in education because no one should have to feel embarrassed of who they are. Moreover, the current and future health of our nation—economic and otherwise—requires that the whole of our population have equitable access to sources of opportunity. 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. With the Immigration Act of 1924, Congress implemented quotas that favored immigration from Northern Europe and drastically reduced arrivals of Eastern European, Jews, Italians and Africans. In 2014, U.S. public schools hit a minority majority milestone with Latino, African-American, and Asian students having surpassed the number of … Rev. 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. Embracing diversity means accepting differences in others. The work of racial justice and the 2020 election. They considered immigration and racial mixing a threat. Join –Consider joining a campus committee to further DEI planning and practices at your institution. 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. 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. 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. We believe that promoting diversity in our campuses helps fulfill the inclusive vision that gave birth to our nation. Advocates for diversity in higher education emphasize a variety of reasons. In addition, their college education experience must be enhanced, not just for underrepresented populations, but for the student body as a whole. 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. At the beginning of the 20th century, many administrators, alumni and faculty members from American universities were at the forefront of the eugenics movement, a pseudoscience that sought to improve the genetic qualities of human populations by selective breeding. The problems of diversity at many institutions of higher education begin with access. In fact, teachers should be aware and recognize … Stephanie A. Bohon, University of Tennessee, A publication of the American Sociological Association, Copyright © American Sociological Association. 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. 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. The eugenecists’ ideas may not have predated the racial prejudices and segregationist practices that existed in the United States, but they provided academic validity to help sustain those prejudices and practices. 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. Research has shown that diversity experiences are associated with increases in civic attitudes (Bowman). Then in the 1920s, at the height of the racial caste system known as “Jim Crow,” the U.S. government embraced new policies promoted by eugenicists. 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 movement was led by presidents of elite private institutions like Harvard, Yale and Stanford, and also at public universities like Michigan and Wisconsin. Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi shows that in the darkness of loss, there can be great meaning in the searching. Review of Educational Research, 81(1), 29-68. Eugenicists advocated effectively for forced sterilization in court cases that remained the law of the land for decades. Since the April decision, students, faculty, and staff at the University of Tennessee have repeatedly rallied in protest. Minority students and faculty will scrutinize opportunities at less diverse institutions more carefully than opportunities at fully integrated institutions. 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. They range from business oriented considerations, like the need for a diverse and well-educated workforce to meet … Diversity can alleviate pressure to follow the norm. 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… This is important for educators and institutions if they need another reason to have a diverse faculty. Promoting Participation in a Diverse Democracy: A Meta-Analysis of College Diversity Experiences and Civic Engagement. 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. Understanding the character of students is important in order to become a competent teacher. And the movement succeeded. At the same time, despite idealistic aspirations and concrete progress, inequities in higher education persist. In 1916 he published “The Passing of the Great Race,” widely considered the most influential eugenics book. This is one reason that federal funding agencies like the National Science Foundation put a premium on projects that involve a diverse set of investigators. The Trump administration has accelerated federal executions since the November elections. Juan Miró is Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and David Bruton, Jr. Centennial Professor in Urban Studies at the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin. Another reason is based on the idea that diversity enriches the educational experience of all students on campus, not just minorities. One reason colleges value diversity is different perspectives allow students to learn from one another. 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. Most college and university leaders recognize the importance of the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work being done on their campuses, but that doesn't always mean the work is happening for the right reasons or leading to the right results. For most college professors, research is an important component of their work. The Importance Of Diversity In Higher Education. Research has shown that improving the diversity of university faculty and staff is important: It improves the learning outcomes of students (Milem, 2003) while also creating a more inclusive campus climate where incidents of discrimination and bias are less prevalent (U.S. Department of Education, 2016). 1055 Words null Page. 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. Got something to say about what you're reading? 2011. Developing shared understandings among people of different races, religions, gender orientations, and identities goes a long way toward reducing prejudice and increasing tolerance. 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. Those smaller things are [some of] the reasons why people feel included and like they are part of the team. … Coerced or involuntary sterilizations continued to happen into the 1970s. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education largely publishes empirical research focused on issues related to issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in post-secondary environments. It was only after the Holocaust that the U.S., rather slowly, abandoned its own eugenicist policies. 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. Show More. 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. 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. 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 fact that thinkers from prestigious American universities provided the intellectual foundations for Hitler’s racial cleansing policies is scarcely mentioned in our country. I had assumed that race was a great connector and was surprised that other factors may matter more. 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.”. 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. Yet children today still grow up in racially segregated and class homogeneous places where they play, go to school, and attend religious services with others who are like them. Why is Diversity Important on College Campuses? It completely stopped immigration from Asia. For them, the Nordic “race” – that is, people from Northern Europe, like Anglo-Americans – was the master race. Recognizing, fostering and developing sensitivity to the needs of people in various identity categories are primary aims of educational diversity. 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. Grant attempts to use science to justify racism. Accordingly, they regarded Africans, Asians and even Southern and Eastern Europeans as inferior. 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). They must embrace their renewed values and help lead our nation toward a more just and equitable future. In addition to the reasons above, we believe that diversity is also an ethical obligation of American universities. At the same time, universities can reproduce inequalities. 2008. As the U.S. Department of Education notes, students’ experiences with diversity help mold them into more engaged citizens. 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. Those policies included new anti-miscegenation laws that criminalized interracial marriage. 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. The Importance Of Diversity In Higher Education. Taking these feel-good ideals and making them a reality can be tough for educators, especially with so many other initiatives on their ever-tighter schedules. The eugenics movement also actively advocated in Congress for policies to prevent immigration by “undesirable” racial and ethnic groups. Through culturally diverse classroom … Some university leaders immediately went on the defense. While it may be assumed that it is important to have viewpoints from all races, this perspective fails to recognize that, although we can see differences in the averages across groups, individual members of a group are unlikely to be average. 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. Diversity in education is a wonderful opportunity to create a better sense of community for our kids. These programs affected all racial groups but especially targeted women, minorities and the poor. There has been a discussion over the process of admission to college in the past decade. But, why is diversity essential for the educational mission of U.S. universities? Yaa Gyasi shows that in the past decade coerced or involuntary sterilizations continued to happen into the.. Administrators with a keen interest in diversity remained the law of the team on bad theology on race protesting help! Variety of reasons April decision, students bring a varying set of,! Sources of opportunity is higher education institutions are facing student populations with increasing diverse academic non-academic. 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