As those rulings have been narrowly upheld over the past two terms in cases such as Fisher v. University of Texas and Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Bollinger has continued — in lectures, media interviews and opinion articles — to be a vocal public advocate for not only the importance of racially and culturally diverse student bodies in American colleges and universities; but also for a broader understanding of how the history of slavery and legalized racial discrimination continue to provide an essential context for understanding the real barriers to equal opportunity for too many citizens.
In the months leading up to Saturday’s anniversary of the Brown ruling Bollinger made a series of public appearances at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Rochester and the University of Kansas. In those forums he discussed how the current direction of both Supreme Court jurisprudence and political debate over race threaten the great moral power of Brown and much of the genuine progress in many areas of American life which it inspired. On the eve of the anniversary The New Yorker published a piece by President Bollinger summarizing these thoughts.
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