With the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on affirmative education looming this October, education professor Gary Orfield’s latest book — “The Walls Around Opportunity: The Failure of Colorblind Policy for Higher Education” — calls for race-conscious policies that can open the doors to educational opportunity for all, and sets forth ideas for changes that result in meaningful gains for systems of education and the people these systems serve.

“This book is a reaction to a crisis in educational and civil rights equity in our country,” said Orfield at recent roundtable discussion about the book. “We have been going backwards in important ways on civil rights ever since the 1980s, and we are now, with the most hostile Supreme Court in at least a century, facing a real possibility that we will lose affirmative action in higher education.”

The hybrid event, which was held on Sept. 13 at the UCLA Faculty Club, was presented by the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies and the Center for Social Solutions at the University of Michigan.

The discussion, led by Orfield, distinguished research professor of education at the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies, featured a panel of experts in education and equity. The event was moderated by Mitchell Chang, UCLA associate vice chancellor of equity, diversity and inclusion, and a professor of education.

Orfield, who is also the co-director of the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, presented the goals of his new book, published recently by Princeton Press. He stated that while families of color share the dream of higher education, racial inequality hinders that dream for many from an early age, and that colorblind policies have made college inaccessible for far too many students. 

Read the full story about the event.