Ed. Magazine Recommended Books on Affirmative Action Posted November 6, 2023 By Ed. Magazine College Access and Success Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Inside Graduate Admissions: Merit, Diversity, and Faculty Gatekeeping By Julie Posselt (HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2016) If you’re casting a relatively wide net in terms of topics, I think graduate admissions is a space that is often overlooked in conversations about affirmative action, race-conscious admission, and diversity. Julie Posselt’s 2016 book has been instrumental in revealing how considerations of diversity and merit shape graduate school admissions processes. As institutions consider the implications of the Supreme Court’s decisions on various aspects of higher education, including graduate education, this book provides a useful resource for understanding this unique context.RECOMMENDED BY DREW ALLEN, SENIOR LECTURER AND ASSOCIATE PROVOST FOR INSTITUTIONAL RESEARCH AND ANALYTICS When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America By Ira Katznelson (W.W. NORTON, 2005) For anyone still trying to grasp the implications of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that affirmative action in admissions is unconstitutional, let me offer some advice. Take the long view. Centuries of chattel enslavement aside, the history of America’s elected officials taking steps relevant to racial inequality does not begin with attempts to remedy it in 1961. It begins decades before, when elected officials deliberately exacerbated racial inequalities. Katznelson’s book reveals how national policies, especially in the 1930s–1950s, deepened racial wounds and widened inequality gaps that policies of the 1960s were developed to remedy. This largely camouflaged record of affirmative action for whites should not be overlooked by those trying to understand where public policy can go from here. RECOMMENDED BY JOHN SILVANUS WILSON JR., ED.M.’82, ED.D.’85, AUTHOR, HOPE AND HEALING: BLACK COLLEGES AND THE FUTURE OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY Behind the Diversity Numbers: Achieving Racial Equity on Campus By W. Carson Byrd (HARVARD EDUCATION PRESS, 2021) W. Carson Byrd asks higher education leaders and policymakers to look beyond the numbers when tackling diversity on campus. This book uncovers how frequently used approaches to examine and understand race-related issues on college campuses can reinforce racism and inequality, rather than combat them. Quantitative- heavy approaches can turn students into numbers, devaluing their lived experiences of marginalization on campus. Byrd repositions these experiences to better understand how to design effective analytic and policy strategies to promote racial equity and justice in higher education. RECOMMENDED BY JAYNE FARGNOLI, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, HARVARD EDUCATION PRESSPunished for Dreaming: How School Reform Harms Black Children and How We Heal By Bettina Love (ST. MARTIN'S PRESS, 2023) In Punished for Dreaming, one of the core texts for my Ethnic Studies and Education course, Love illuminates the political and philanthropic common denominators in educational reform movements between 1980–2020 and in doing so, invites readers to critically consider how current bans and restrictive policies and practices impact beliefs and approaches to equity work in education. Love challenges readers to examine how “diversity,” “equity,” and “inclusion” have been defined in the context of educational reform initiatives and offers a framework for repairing the institutional wounds of oppression and carcerality through educational reparations. Punished for Dreaming centers the importance of exercising solidarity, accountability, repair, and joy in the struggle toward healing. RECOMMENDED BY CHRISTINA “V” VILLARREAL, ED.M.'05, LECTURER The Walls Around Opportunity: The Failure of Colorblind Policy for Higher Education By Gary Orfield (PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS, 2022) Professor Gary Orfield is my go-to researcher for this topic, and he has so many titles. One of his most recent, The Walls Around Opportunity: The Failure of Colorblind Policy for Higher Education, looks at the importance of access to higher education in the context of a racially unequal society. His book includes commentary by James Anderson, professor emeritus at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Stella Flores, Ed.M.'02, Ed.D.'07, an associate professor at the University of Texas-Austin. RECOMMENDED BY CARLA LILLVIK, SPECIAL COLLECTIONS AND RESEARCH LIBRARIAN, GUTMAN LIBRARY Reconstructing Inclusion: Making DEI Accessible, Actionable, and Sustainable By Amri Johnson (MATT HOLT BOOKS, 2022) As our society continues to examine the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within institutions of learning and the workplace, the field has surprisingly not changed dramatically in its approach over the past few decades. Johnson, a well-respected DEI thought leader, makes the persuasive case that the current paradigms within the field need to be reexamined by practitioners. He lays out a heartfelt critique of current DEI practices while also providing a blueprint for meaningful organizational change. RECOMMENDED BY JARROD CHIN, CHIEF DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION OFFICER EdCast The Future of DEI in Higher Education The impact of the Supreme Court's decision to end race conscious admissions and the future of diversity work on college campuses College Access and Success Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Higher Education Leadership Inequality and Education Gaps Ed. Magazine The magazine of the Harvard Graduate School of Education Explore All Articles Related Articles Ed. Magazine How the Word Is Passed Excerpts from Clint Smith's New York Times bestselling, PEN-nominated exploration of the history and legacy of slavery across America. Usable Knowledge Teaching in the Face of Book Bans Creative ways educators can adjust their curriculum during "treacherous" times Ed. Magazine Clint Smith, Ed.M.’17, Ph.D.’20, On: His hopes for the book, what didn’t make the cut, and how time changes things.