Affirmative Action Endures Three Decades of Challenges: The Pursuit of Diversity on Campus

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Civil Rights, history, race, affirmative action, U.S. Constitution, college admissions


Race and affirmative action are among the most contentious issues in higher education. This talk will explore the constitutionality of affirmative action in college admissions. What principles and technicalities are dominating the discussion, and what strategies show the most promise?

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John C. Brittain previously served as Dean of the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University, taught at the University of Connecticut’s law school, and was Chief Counsel of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, founded by President Kennedy to enlist private lawyers for pro bono civil-rights cases. He writes and litigates on issues in civil and human rights, especially in education. He has been involved in numerous famous cases, including the federal lawsuit against Maryland for denying its historically black colleges opportunities comparable to its traditional white campuses. He is a nationally ranked master’s runner. With his B.A. and J.D. from Howard University, John is, in Martin Luther King’s words, “a drum major for justice.”

A supplemental video recording captures Dr. Brittain's presentation.