Race and College Admissions

A Case for Affirmative Action, 2d ed.

Second Edition
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About the Book

In the United States, elite colleges and universities have historically catered primarily to wealthy, predominantly white Americans, creating barriers to entry for students of color. Legal statutes have entrenched discriminatory practices within the admissions process, perpetuating the underrepresentation of students of color at top-tier institutions. Given this reality, the imperative for institutions to promote diversity through affirmative action remains crucial. However, recent legal challenges against affirmative action threaten to reinforce the status quo, potentially perpetuating the dominance of predominantly white institutions in higher education.
This book takes an historical look at the pivotal role affirmative action has played in higher education. It examines the admissions process through the eyes of a beneficiary of affirmative action and is the first text to share insights on the role eligibility plays in allowing universities to consider race in admitting applicants. Detailed are the different types of affirmative action and how some colleges and universities use the policy as a tool to consider race and ethnicity as part of a holistic evaluation of applicants. This work makes the case that race-conscious admissions practices remain necessary in the fight for racial equity in higher education.

About the Author(s)

Jamillah Moore is the vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at San Francisco State University. Previously, she served as the president of Cañada College in Redwood City. A prominent social justice advocate and higher education leader, she is recognized as an advocate for educational access and equity with a focus on student success.

Bibliographic Details

Jamillah Moore
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Bibliographic Info: tables, diagrams, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9630-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4688-6
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

• “This book is a superb, comprehensive and compelling case for Affirmative Action. President Jamillah Moore has done an excellent job in keeping this crucial issue alive!”—Cornel West, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Chair at Union Theological Seminary in New York

• “Jamillah Moore’s Race and Admissions is a very timely book in this moment of national reckoning with racism and anti-Blackness. To understand why racially minoritized communities have accumulated only 5% of the wealth of whites we need to understand the historical roots of racism in higher education admissions. Dr. Moore’s book draws on history and policy to make the case for the injustice committed by white-centered definitions of merit and the perversity inherent in the elimination of affirmative action. This book provides the foundation for racially just admissions policies and practices. Our future as a democracy and racially just society is impossible without a higher education system that reflects in admissions and outcomes the racial and ethnic diversity of this country.”—Estela Mara Bensimon, university professor emerita, founder, Center for Urban Education, Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California

• “An incredibly astute and captivating read, Race and Admissions offers an important argument for one of higher education’s most pressing racial policies—affirmative action—and why it remains necessary.”—Eddie R. Cole, author of The Campus Color Line: College Presidents and the Struggle for Black Freedom

• “As a beneficiary of affirmative action and a practitioner of its aims to amplify opportunity and college access for racialized communities, I was both inspired and riled by Dr. Moore’s adept and authentic treatment of this contentious, but necessary policy subject. Inspired by its impactful promise to create a more inclusive democracy in higher education and riled by our collective inability to once and for all end racism in college admissions. Dr. Moore provides a compelling rationale for race-conscious admissions and a practical roadmap for willing co-conspirators.”—Francisco C. Rodriguez, Ph.D., Chancellor, Los Angeles Community College District

• “Moore’s book, Race and College Admissions, is an intelligent look at why our definition of ‘merit’ needs to evolve to include diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives…and yes, race matters! The demographic shifts are already here, and the leaders of the future will need to learn how to navigate a more complex world. We do our students a disserve if we fail to ensure that they learn in a diverse environment that reflect the present and the future.”—Dr. Linda Oubre, president of Whittier College

• “Dr. Jamillah Moore’s research and dedication to scholarly excellence is bar none. She speaks from the depth of her experiences and sheds light on the historical context of what students of color have faced in America’s higher education. She is a master writer and is able to weave both storytelling and empirical evidence into her work. An impressive compilation of both thought and depth on such a critical topic.”—Dr. Angela Long, chief engagement officer, Tallassee Community College