Diversity's Promise for Higher Education: Making It Work, Daryl G. Smith (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009, $50.00 hardcover)
Diversity & Democracy advisory board member Daryl Smith outlines a compelling rationale for making diversity work in and for higher education in this evidence-based, strategy-filled volume. Emphasizing that diversity is both an inevitability and a strength, Smith supplies context for modern diversity initiatives and critiques current efforts, ultimately suggesting how colleges and universities might better harness diversity's power. With keen insight into both individuals and systems, she explores how a holistic approach to hiring, student success, assessment, and more can create the conditions that support diversity. This book is a much-needed roadmap toward the institutions the world needs in the twenty-first century.
No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal: Race and Class in Elite College Admission and Campus Life, Thomas J. Espenshade and Alexandria Walton Radford (Princeton University Press, 2009, $35.00 hardcover)
With this incisive new book, Espenshade and Walton Radford explore the dynamics of differential college access and success in extraordinary detail. Using data gathered from ten elite colleges, they trace racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic differences from application through admission, enrollment, and beyond. Illustrating elite colleges' role in perpetuating America's growing wealth gap, the volume outlines possible remedies and underscores the need for colleges to do more to support students' interactions with diversity. But the book's most significant contribution may be its persuasive, data-based analysis of affirmative action. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in higher education's role in creating a more equitable society.
Privilege and Prejudice: Twenty Years with the Invisible Knapsack, Karen Weekes, Ed. (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009, $52.99 hardcover)
Celebrating two decades of Peggy McIntosh's influential work on invisible privilege, editor Karen Weekes has compiled a collection of fascinating articles that draw inspiration from McIntosh's work. Contributing authors apply the lens of invisible privilege to a wide range of topics, illuminating how recognition of oppression's silent corollary (advantage) can shift the terms of analysis in multiple subject areas, from higher education to reproductive freedom to dance. With particularly strong chapters on the phenomenon of "colorblindness" and on race and gender privilege in faculty careers, this book is a strong addition to any social justice library.
We ARE Americans: Undocumented Students Pursuing the American Dream, William Perez (Stylus Publishing, LLC, 2009, $22.50 hardcover)
With these profiles of twenty high-achieving undocumented students and graduates, William Perez makes palpable the critical challenges facing America's undocumented youth. Focusing primarily on Mexican immigrants (many of whom learned of their legal status as late as high school), the book gives voice to students' experiences of deep uncertainty and personal triumph as they pursue higher education. The book illustrates the personal tragedies that occur for students who, despite their talent and their primary identification as Americans, are barred from affordable higher education or employment. With the inclusion of several individuals who successfully obtained legal status, the collection underscores America's interest in capitalizing on great talent and civic commitment that too often goes to waste.