Holy Cross Lecture to Outline Government’s Role in Segregation

Economist Richard Rothstein is author of 'The Color of Law'
August 31st, 2017 by 


Richard Rothstein, research associate for the Economic Policy Institute, will speak about his book “The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America” (Liveright, 2017) at the College of the Holy Cross, Monday, Sept. 11 at 4:30 p.m. in the Rehm Library. His talk, presented by the Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture, is free and open to the public.

Racial segregation characterizes every metropolitan area in the U.S. and bears responsibility for our most serious social and economic problems — it corrupts our criminal justice system, exacerbates economic inequality, and produces large academic gaps between white and African American schoolchildren.

“We’ve taken no serious steps to desegregate neighborhoods, however, because we are hobbled by a national myth that residential segregation is de facto — the result of private discrimination or personal choices that do not violate constitutional rights,” Rothstein says.

In his talk, Rothstein will explain how residential segregation in fact was created by racially explicit and unconstitutional government policy in the mid-20th century.

“Only after learning this forgotten history can we undertake the national conversation necessary to remedy our unconstitutional racial landscape,” he says.

Rothstein is a fellow at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and of the Haas Institute at the University of California (Berkeley). An expert on race, education and equity, his books include “Grading Education: Getting Accountability Right” (2008), “The Charter School Dust-Up: Examining the Evidence on Enrollment and Achievement” (2005), and “Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic and Educational Reform to Close the Black-White Achievement Gap” (2004), all published by the Economic Policy Institute and Teachers College Press; and “All Else Equal: Are Public and Private Schools Different?” (Routledge, 2003).

To learn more about McFarland Center events and watch past events online, visit www.holycross.edu/mcfarlandcenter.

About the Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J. Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture

Established in 2001 and housed in Smith Hall, the McFarland Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture provides resources for faculty and course development, sponsors conferences and college-wide teaching events, hosts visiting fellows, leads a scholarly initiative on Catholics & Cultures, and coordinates a number of campus lecture series. Rooted in the College’s commitment to invite conversation about basic human questions, the Center welcomes persons of all faiths and seeks to foster dialogue that acknowledges and respects differences, providing a forum for intellectual exchange that is interreligious, interdisciplinary, intercultural, and international in scope. The Center also brings members of the Holy Cross community into conversation with the Greater Worcester community, the academic community, and the wider world to examine the role of faith and inquiry in higher education and in the larger culture.

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