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Color and Money Is a College Course!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
A Dissident Voice Roils a Disney World Diversity Conference
One of the nation's leading proponents of diversity in higher education, Evelyn Hu-DeHart, director of Brown University's Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, delivered a speech taking conference attendees to task for not doing more to advocate for black, Hispanic, and Native American students and faculty members. She went so far as to suggest that colleges let people attend this attend this annual conference—typically held in family-friendly tourist destinations—to reward them for not making waves.
Calling herself "a hard-nosed critic from the inside," Ms. Hu-DeHart said, "Let's face it: Diversity has created jobs for all of us. It is a career. It is an industry."
"We do what we need to keep our jobs," she said. "But as long as we keep doing our job the way we are told to do it, we are covering up for our universities."
"You all are covering up," she said. "You all are complicit in this."
She alleged that people who work in college offices dealing with diversity and minority issues help their institutions create the impression that they are far more concerned with diversity and equity than is actually the case. Her advice to the college chief diversity officers in the crowd? Quit and renegotate your contract to give you more power.
Chronicle of Higher Education subscribers can find full coverage of her speech here and an analytical story following up on the conference here.