Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Better Education for Better Opportunities-A Shared Responsibility

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Better Education for Better Opportunities-A Shared Responsibility

Article excerpt

Around 350 B.C. Aristotle, tutor to Alexander the Great, offered this correlation between education and the future: "All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind are convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth."

America's academic community stands to make a tremendous contribution to the next generation of workers, especially women, people of color and disabled workers. As we have become an information/knowledge-based society, education and job training are undeniable prerequisites to gaining access to better paying jobs, career advancement or just getting in the door, in many instances. Federal agencies like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and America's educators -- whether they be teachers, deans, administrators or librarians -- face a shared responsibility to provide students and workers with an understanding of the requirements of today's workplace and the resources to prepare them to compete.

The EEOC's primary mission is to remove barriers to discrimination in the workplace. I believe that this mandate goes hand-in-hand with education. The EEOC continues to receive on average 80,000 filed charges of workplace discrimination annually: 35 percent of the charges are race related; 30 percent are gender related; 20 percent are age and 20 percent are disability; 10 percent are national origin and 2 percent are religious discrimination charges.

On average, the charging party is a lower-skilled, hourly wage earner with limited educational background, some with limited language skills, working within a services or assembly-line environment. …

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