Race-based affirmative action had been declining as a factor in university admissions even before the recent spate of related cases arrived at the Supreme Court. Since Ward Connerly kickstarted a state-by-state political mobilization against affirmative action in the mid-1990s, the percentage of four-year public colleges that consider racial or ethnic status in admissions has fallen from 60 percent to 35 percent. Only 45 percent of private colleges still explicitly consider race, with elite schools more likely to do so, although they too have retreated.
For law professor and civil rights activist Sheryll Cashin, this isn’t entirely bad news, because as she argues, affirmative action as currently practiced does little to help disadvantaged people. In Place, Not Race, Cashin reimagines affirmative action and champions place-based policies, arguing that college applicants who have thrived despite exposure to neighborhood or school poverty are deserving of special consideration.
Solomon Northup was a free man who was lured from his home in Saratoga and kidnapped into slavery in 1841. His life is the subject of the upcoming film, 12 Years A Slave which opens at The Spectrum Theatre in Albany this Friday.
The new biography, Solomon Northup: The Complete Story of the Author of Twelve Years A Slave provides a compelling chronological narrative of Northup's entire life, from his birth in an isolated settlement in upstate New York to the activities he pursued after his release from slavery.
The biography was written by Clifford Brown, a political science professor at Union College in Schenectady, Rachel Seligman, former head of Union’s gallery (she now works at the Tang at Skidmore College); and David Friske, former librarian for the state.
Award-winning journalist, current NPR host and special correspondent, and former co-host of NPR's newsmagazine All Things Considered, as well as Best Selling Author and creator of The Race Card Project, Michele Norris comes to Bard College at Simon's Rock to discuss her work and offer her perspective on tackling complex conversations and having meaningful dialogue about race and diversity.
Michele Norris is an award-winning journalist with more than two decades of experience. She is currently a host and special correspondent for NPR. Previously, Norris served as co-host of NPR's newsmagazine All Things Considered, public radio's longest-running national program, with Robert Siegel and Melissa Block.
In September, 2010, Norris released her first book, The Grace of Silence: A Memoir, which focuses on how America talks about race in the wake of Barack Obama's presidential election, and explores her own family's racial legacy.
Free to Be You and Me is a record/book/theater piece/TV special conceived by Marlo Thomas that challenges gender and racial stereotypes by emphasizing strong positive values such as personal aspiration, individuality, cooperation, self-esteem, tolerance, and comfort with one?s identity.
The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, MA celebrates the 40th Anniversary of Free to Be You and Me with a live panel discussion with Marlo Thomas, Alan Alda, and Letty Cottin Pogrebin about the empowering children's classic and the difference it made, as well as societal problems that persist for children today and strategies for progress.
For a nation steeped in adherence to the prohibition of enforced religious belief and impenetrable separation of church and state, as Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black: affirmed in 1947: “The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable……” (Everson v Bd of Ed’n). Political paladins of various organized religions seem to have been bent on subverting and rescinding it, in favor of one or another preferred religious belief, ever since. That bent seems more prevalent today, than at any time since its adoption.
Sex, guilt and bold accusations permeate Race – a provocative play from multiple-Award-winning playwright David Mamet. The show begins previews tonight at Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany. The play tackles America’s most controversial topic with the brilliant language that only Mamet can bring to the stage.