Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Iconoclastic Thinker

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Iconoclastic Thinker

Article excerpt

Dr. Julianne Malveaux is passionate about advancing African-Americans. As president of Bennett College, she spent five years progressing America's oldest historically Black college for women. As a labor economist, speaker, columnist and entrepreneur, Malveaux has created a legacy of sounding off about injustices against Blacks from the higher education realm to the political arena.

While she graduated from two predominantly White institutions, Malveaux believes in the value of the Black community supporting its own people, especially through higher education. "At [predominantly White institutions], Black people are ignorant until they prove that they're smart," she says. "At an HBCU, Black people are smart until they prove that they're ignorant"

During her undergraduate years, Malveaux relentlessly advocated for herself and her peers. "Everything that I got at Boston College I fought for" she says, recalling an era when Black studies departments were in their infancy and women were just being admitted into business schools.

At Boston, Malveaux also spent time connecting the dots between African-Americans and money. In her first economics class, she was introduced to the process of distribution in America. "The question I always wanted to ask was, 'How come Black people always get less?'" she says. Although she entered college with the idea of studying law, she soon found herself enthralled with labor economy.

In 1974, Malveaux received a bachelors in economics from Boston College, and she obtained a master's in economics from the university the following year.

Growing up in a family where education was "hardwired" into her psyche, Malveaux continued to further her education. In 1980, she received a doctorate in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In her first years after receiving a doctorate, Malveaux worked as an educator at the New School for Social Research; San Francisco State University; the University of California, Davis; and the College of Notre Dame, among other institutions.

But with a love for writing and media, she also spent time contributing to periodicals such as Black Issues In Higher Education (the predecessor to Diverse), Essence as well as writing academic articles for a number of publications. Malveaux has also lent her voice to radio and television programs and panels across the country. …

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