Saturday, May 26, 2018
“The problem of the 20th century,” said W.E.B. Dubois, “is the problem of the color line.” It remains a problem for the 21st century. From the nation’s founding, to the Civil War, to Reconstruction, to Jim Crow, to the civil rights era, to affirmative action, to calls for greater diversity and inclusion, to Black Lives Matter, to the racialization of immigration, America continues to struggle to reconcile its promises of equality with the persistent inequities between its white majority and its peoples of color. We are in another moment when questions of race and racial equality dominate national discussions. Ten years after the election of the nation’s first black president, today’s discussions on race seem so different from those during our time at Amherst. Is there still a national commitment to racial equality, or are we doomed forever to be a nation divided by race? Panelists include Julie Ajinkya ’03, Ph.D., Vice President of Applied Research, Institute for Higher Education Policy; Mark Beckwith ’73, Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Newark; Travis J. Bristol ’03, Ph.D., Peter Paul Assistant Professor, Boston University, School of Education; Lonnie Isabel ’74E, Senior Lecturer, Columbia School of Journalism, and former Deputy Managing Editor, Newsday; and Stephen Keith ’73, M.D., MSPH, Chief Business Development and Medical Officer, Evanston Technology Partners. Moderated by George Johnson ’73, P’03, Professor of Law and Dean Emeritus, Elon University. Presented by the Classes of 1973 and 2003.