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Race, Class, and Higher Education

A Virtual Conversation

In the midst of a global pandemic that has disproportionately affected people of color and a national movement to protest systemic racism in American life, The Chronicle has convened a series of dialogues on race, class, and the role of higher education in promoting equity. The panels — cohosted by Sarah Brown, a senior reporter; Scott Carlson, a senior writer; and Michael Sorrell, president of Paul Quinn College — gather leading figures on pressing issues to share their insights with the higher-ed community. Here you will find all of the sessions and excerpts from several of the discussions.


  • Race, Class, and Student Voices

    ON DEMAND: The faces of student representation are changing. Presidents elected to lead student bodies at several predominantly white institutions this year are the first Black student in the role. Emphasizing issues like diversity and inclusion, they are driving change on their campuses. In the latest virtual forum in The Chronicle’s series examining race and class in higher education, a panel of student-body presidents shares ideas for creating more inclusive institutions. Watch on demand

CAMPUS CLIMATE | December 2020

  • Race, Class, and Campus Climate

    ON DEMAND: Colleges have promised to confront racism and inequity to create more supportive environments for all. But what are leaders doing differently now than in years past? And what will it really take to achieve a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive campus climate? In this virtual forum, we will explore how colleges can take meaningful action for their communities. Watch on demand
  • Diversity

    ‘Is Inclusion Even Possible?’

    A conversation about race, class, and higher education.

MONEY | November 2020

  • Race, Class, and the Cost of College

    ON DEMAND: Affordable access to college and adequate institutional funding figure prominently in discussions of racial equity. Despite calls of college for all, it remains out of reach for many students, and the system is deeply stratified. In this virtual forum, a panel of researchers and policy experts will discuss what models could improve affordability and social mobility. Watch on demand

DEMOCRACY | October 2020

  • Race, Class, Higher Education, and Democracy

    ON DEMAND: Cultivating an informed citizenry, fostering civil discourse, and encouraging the free exchange of ideas are all hallmarks of higher education. How can colleges promote civic engagement and political participation? Join us for a virtual forum as we explore what college leaders and academics can do to support democracy and racial equity. With Support from Texas A&M University. Watch on demand

ACADEMIC LIFE | September 2020

  • Race, Class, and Academic Life

    ON DEMAND: Colleges and universities are renewing their focus on the issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Amid the continuing conversation about race in America, The Chronicle is bringing together a prominent panel for a frank discussion exploring the experiences of Black academics today. Watch on demand
  • Are Colleges Really Falling Short on Racial Justice?

    Black scholars debate that question and consider what it will take to actually diversify faculties.


  • Race, Class, and Student Activism

    ON DEMAND: The conversation continues with a panel of student activists from diverse backgrounds and with differing viewpoints. The discussion examines what students want from their colleges and other social institutions — and their strategies and tactics to spur that change. Watch on demand
  • College Activists Aren’t Backing Down

    Students from across the political spectrum discuss campus politics in a pandemic.



  • Race, Class, and the Path to College

    ON DEMAND: Some of the issues facing higher education start well before college; many racial and class disparities originate in — or are exacerbated by — the public school system. To a great extent, higher education depends on the schools, yet funding and other gaps among districts are stark, and the cultural and practical distance between school and college vast.
    With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
    Watch on demand
  • How the Education System Exacerbates Inequality

    A discussion hosted by The Chronicle explored the education system’s underlying assumptions, what counts as high-status knowledge and who has access to it, and what approaches to increasing equity hold promise.


  • Race and Higher Education

    ON DEMAND: The Chronicle convened a virtual event to discuss how colleges can address the persistent maladies of race and class in the United States. The event was hosted by Michael Sorrell, president of Paul Quinn College, and Scott Carlson, a senior writer at The Chronicle, and included Devin Fergus, a professor of history and Black studies at the University of Missouri at Columbia; Mildred García, president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities; and G. Gabrielle Starr, president of Pomona College. Underwritten by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Watch on demand
  • Higher Ed’s Reckoning With Race

    A conversation about bigotry, diversity, and opportunity.