Professor Watson: Kudos on another informative and insightful article about a critically important social justice issue facing our society. Your astute analysis is on target, in my humble opinion as a former EEOC spokesperson.

Regarding affirmative action in college admissions, I would emphasize such policies are part of fostering equal opportunity for all — especially those who are disadvantaged by socioeconomic factors, overt or unconscious discrimination, and other artificial barriers for women and minorities which have been institutionalized throughout history.

As a former EEOC chairman once told me about gaining acceptance to Harvard: affirmative action helped put me at the starting line, but I alone had to run the race (do the work to make the grades and succeed). Thus it’s important to remember that affirmative action is about promoting equal opportunity, it’s not about mandated outcomes or quotas — which are illegal with the rare exception of court intervention.

Moreover, affirmative action in college admissions is just one factor of many in a holistic approach to evaluate students (as you note). These are all significant factors to keep in mind when considering the importance of fostering diversity on college campuses, which benefits everyone in an increasingly diverse society and labor force.

PS — congrats on your new book, which I enjoyed reading and highly recommend…

cc: Deborah Levine Rob Jones

Strategic communications consultant advancing social justice and corporate social responsibility | former career spokesman at U.S. EEOC | DC-based, NY-bred

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