Higher Education Dialogue on Race

A conference on race and ethnicity has become a hallmark program at our midwest research university. For the past decade, the Iowa State Conference and Race Ethnicity, or ISCORE project, has been our flagship program on all things affecting diversity, inclusion, and persons of color in higher education. Based upon the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education (NCORE), ISCORE celebrated it’s 10th anniversary in March. It has become a model program for other campus CORE programs. I wrote here about about this year’s keynote, Michele Norris.

The Iowa State project sponsors a team of students, staff and faculty to travel and participate at NCORE each summer. Information gathered from that experience is reviewed throughout a fall semester course: Forum on United States Race and Ethnicity. Students then submit individual and group presentation proposals for ISCORE. Hundreds of Iowa State students and staff have been the beneficiary of this project grant. Thousands of students, faculty, staff, and community members have attended the campus conferences. Through lean financial times in higher education, ISCORE has continued to thrive.

Washington Post columnist and editor, Eugene Robinson, suggested in an MSNBC segment this morning that recent discussion on race in America is good for the country, but we rarely see it happen in the classroom. His comments were in reference to the arrest of an African-American Harvard professor by a white police officer that made national news. Robinson’s column this week highlighted the incident and questioned the still very common racial double standard.

For at least one university, the discussion and dialogue on race and ethnicity is alive and well, and continuing.

What is your campus dialogue on diversity, race and ethnicity?

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