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. Beyond teaching eugenics on campus – 376 American colleges were offering courses on the subject by the late 1920s – these academic leaders and their followers worked hard to take eugenics ideas mainstream – and did so “with considerable effect,” according to Harvard Magazine. Got something to say about what you're reading? Through culturally diverse classroom … 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. Diversity can alleviate pressure to follow the norm. The work of racial justice and the 2020 election. We write not only as professors but as higher education administrators with a keen interest in diversity on campus. 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… Diverse views, which arise from divergent human experiences, stimulate innovation. The pursuit of diversity now can help universities make amends for aggressive anti-diversity practices of the recent past. The Trump administration has accelerated federal executions since the November elections. Another reason is based on the idea that diversity enriches the educational experience of all students on campus, not just minorities. Embracing diversity means accepting differences in others. 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. Campus cultural diversity enriches the educational experience. Diversity matters in education because no one should have to feel embarrassed of who they are. Stafford, Darlene E. and Henry S. Griffis. 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. 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. 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. That diversity comes with a host of benefits at all levels of education and in the workforce. 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. This is important for educators and institutions if they need another reason to have a diverse faculty. Our nation is changing, and our higher education institutions need to reflect this diversity. They range from business oriented considerations, like the need for a diverse and well-educated workforce to meet … Since the April decision, students, faculty, and staff at the University of Tennessee have repeatedly rallied in protest. These programs affected all racial groups but especially targeted women, minorities and the poor. 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. Eugenicists championed ideas of racial superiority. 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. I had assumed that race was a great connector and was surprised that other factors may matter more. 2011. They considered immigration and racial mixing a threat. 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. Jesus appears in hundreds of songs in every secular genre. The Work Before Us Why is Diversity Important on College Campuses? Student bodies are no longer composed of primarily male, White students. 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. Students report less discrimination and bias at institutions where they perceive a higher … Advocates for diversity in higher education emphasize a variety of reasons. As the U.S. Department of Education notes, students’ experiences with diversity help mold them into more engaged citizens. 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. Interracial marriage was still forbidden in 16 states when it was declared unconstitutional in 1967. 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. 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. Stephanie A. Bohon, University of Tennessee, A publication of the American Sociological Association, Copyright © American Sociological Association. But, why is diversity essential for the educational mission of U.S. universities? 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. It was only after the Holocaust that the U.S., rather slowly, abandoned its own eugenicist policies. The fact that thinkers from prestigious American universities provided the intellectual foundations for Hitler’s racial cleansing policies is scarcely mentioned in our country. This vision became enshrined in the Declaration of Independence when it proclaimed that “all men are created equal.”. Diversity Promotes Creativity At its core, creativity is all about bringing together different ideas and transforming them to make something new, unique, and personal. 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). 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. This commitment is reflected in ACE’s positions on public policy, its programmatic activities, and its 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. Higher Education Studies; Vol. For most college professors, research is an important component of their work. 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. 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. The movement was led by presidents of elite private institutions like Harvard, Yale and Stanford, and also at public universities like Michigan and Wisconsin. In addition, their college education experience must be enhanced, not just for underrepresented populations, but for the student body as a whole. 1055 Words null Page. 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. According to the National Viewpoint: The Importance of Hiring a Diverse Faculty report, “Diversifying the faculty reduces the amount of discrimination claims. 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 … 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. 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. In fact, teachers should be aware and recognize … Thus, colleges and universities with a strong record for attracting and retaining diverse students and faculty may be attracting the best candidates, overall. 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. 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. 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. 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. Grant attempts to use science to justify racism. Chief diversity officers have become increasingly common across leading institutions of higher education, driven by the push to create more diverse, inclusive and equitable environments for the benefit of all members of the community. For the university, diversity is also important. 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. 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. Edmund T. Gordon is the Vice President for Diversity and Associate Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies Department at the University of Texas at Austin. 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. 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. For them, the Nordic “race” – that is, people from Northern Europe, like Anglo-Americans – was the master race. 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. The eugenics movement also actively advocated in Congress for policies to prevent immigration by “undesirable” racial and ethnic groups. Promoting Participation in a Diverse Democracy: A Meta-Analysis of College Diversity Experiences and Civic Engagement. 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). 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). 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. In 1916 he published “The Passing of the Great Race,” widely considered the most influential eugenics book. Review of Educational Research, 81(1), 29-68. Chief among such sources of opportunity is 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 … It is also timely to reflect on the extraordinary impact universities can have in our nation and the world. Universities can and should foster an atmosphere where tolerance and understanding are generated through safe spaces where interactions between different people are the norm. Developing shared understandings among people of different races, religions, gender orientations, and identities goes a long way toward reducing prejudice and increasing tolerance. 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. 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. 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. Unless otherwise noted, all material © Sojourners 2020, advocate policy preferences and positions beyond the requirements of the Constitution, “affirmed the University of Texas’ efforts to enroll a diverse student body, admitting people into the U.S. from “shithole countries.”, led the development of white supremacist ideologies, Jesus Shows Up In Discos, Honky-Tonks, Blues Bars, and Strip Clubs, Faith Leaders: Trump's Rushed Executions Show ‘Blatant Disregard’ for Life. Eugenicists advocated effectively for forced sterilization in court cases that remained the law of the land for decades. Those policies included new anti-miscegenation laws that criminalized interracial marriage. At the same time, despite idealistic aspirations and concrete progress, inequities in higher education persist. To raise broad-minded and well-educated children we need to teach them to stand up to intolerance and discrimination and to reject stereotypes. 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. Bowman, Nicholas. They must embrace their renewed values and help lead our nation toward a more just and equitable future. Rev. 1; 2018 ISSN 1925-4741 E-ISSN 1925-475X Published by Canadian Center of Science and Education 9 Preparing Teachers for Diversity: A Literature Review and Implications from Community-Based Teacher Education Huanshu Yuan1 1University of Washington, USA 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. The Importance Of Diversity In Higher Education. Colleges for a long time have had a lack of diversity on their campuses. If educators of different cultural backgrounds are aware that the educational institution openly hires those of diverse cultures, they are … “A review of millennial genderation characteristics and military workforce implications.” Center for Naval Analysis, http://www.cna.org/documents D 18211. 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. 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.”. … Minority students and faculty will scrutinize opportunities at less diverse institutions more carefully than opportunities at fully integrated institutions. 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. Join –Consider joining a campus committee to further DEI planning and practices at your institution. From every circumstance, students bring a varying set of values, perspectives, and beliefs to the learning environment. Southern Baptist seminary presidents double down on bad theology on race. 8, No. Those smaller things are [some of] the reasons why people feel included and like they are part of the team. Witnessing these differences is important. We value your feedback! Eugenicists were anti-diversity. The problems of diversity at many institutions of higher education begin with access. 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.”. 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