Segregation Forever? Research Finds Black, Latinx Students Still Excluded From Selective Public Institutions

As communities and institutions seek solutions to the nation’s racial inequities in the aftermath of protests surrounding George Floyd’s death in police custody, the Education Trust recently cited “continued and systematic exclusion of Black and Latinx students from the most selective public colleges and universities in the country” in an incisive report published on its website.

Dr. Andrew Howard Nichols

Titled “Segregation Forever: The Continued Underrepresentation of Black and Latino Undergraduates at the Nation’s 101 Most Selective Public Colleges and Universities,” the report examines how access for Black and Latinx students at these institutions has changed since 2000. It also questions whether their student bodies represent the racial and ethnic diversity of their various states.

The report takes its title from former Alabama Governor George Wallace, who notoriously declared, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever!” as he attempted to defy the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision which made racial segregation in public education illegal. Wallace’s efforts in 1963 to prevent integration of the University of Alabama ultimately failed due to the intervention of federal authorities.

According to the Education Trust analysis, the selective public institutions included in the study “are regressing toward segregation and becoming less accessible.” The author of the 40-page analysis, Dr. Andrew Howard Nichols, Education Trust’s senior director for Research and Data Analytics, called out institutional leadership for pledging support for equity and inclusion while their campuses tell a different story.

“College and university leaders as well as policymakers need to look beyond their rhetoric about the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion and take action,” Nichols told Diverse. “At many of the institut

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