Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Higher Education Groups Announce Campaign to Support Race Initiative

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Higher Education Groups Announce Campaign to Support Race Initiative

Article excerpt

Miami - Two leading national higher education organizations have announced a year-long campaign to encourage the nation's colleges and universities to launch activities in support of U.S. President Bill Clinton's national dialogue on race relations.

Officials from the American Council on Education (ACE) and the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) joined Dr. John Hope Franklin, the distinguished historian who chairs the President's Advisory Board on Race; and a panel of college and university presidents at a news conference held during ACE's biennial "Educating One-Third of a Nation" conference last month to make the announcement.

"We look forward to the help in getting our message out," Franklin told news conference attendees.

Franklin welcomed and endorsed the commitment from ACE and AAC&U, which collectively represent more than 2,000 institutions of higher education. He says colleges and universities have a unique role to play in the national dialogue because they have dealt extensively with issues involving affirmative action, campus diversity, and multiculturalism.

"These institutions have a particular vantage point from which to examine the issues of race and racism. The American Council on Education and the Association of American Colleges and Universities have answered President Clinton's call to action by recognizing the role that colleges and universities can play in this national dialogue," Franklin said.

ACE president Dr. Stanley O. Ikenberry says that ensuring equal opportunity remains an unsolved challenge for all Americans. He noted that educational institutions have traditionally been leaders in creating opportunity.

"Higher education has a special role to play in this national dialogue. What better place to engage these issues than on our nation's campuses? Higher education has been in the forefront of opening opportunity in the past, and we pledge to redouble our efforts in the future," added Ikenberry.

AAC&U president Dr. Paula Brownlee says the president's challenge is an appropriate one for higher education since it has confronted "issues of race and social justice" for more than three decades.

"We happily accept President Clinton's invitation to join our efforts to his vision of transformed race relations. …

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