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Civil rights activist Lani Guinier to speak on diversity in higher education

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by Letisia Marquez

Lani Guinier, one of the nation’s leading civil rights scholars, will be the keynote speaker at the College Access Project for African Americans symposium, organized by UCLA’s Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies. Guinier will discuss her latest book, “Meritocracy Inc.: How Wealth Became Merit, Class Became Race and Higher Education Became a Gift From the Poor to the Rich,” which deals with issues of diversity, fairness and affirmative action.

7 p.m. on Friday, May 16
UCLA Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, Calif.
Guinier’s work examines democratic theory, political representation, educational equity and issues of race and gender. In 1998, she became the first black woman to receive a tenured professorship at Harvard Law School. Before joining Harvard, Guinier was a tenured law professor for 10 years at the University of Pennsylvania.
In 1993, President Bill Clinton nominated Guinier to be the first African American woman to serve as U.S. assistant attorney general for civil rights. Her name was later withdrawn without a confirmation hearing. She turned that incident into a powerful memoir titled “Lift Every Voice: Turning a Civil Rights Setback Into a New Vision of Social Justice.” During the 1980s, Guinier was the head of the voting rights project at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and she served in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice during the Carter administration. She is the author of several books and numerous articles and op-eds.
Funded by the Ford Foundation, the College Access Project for African Americans examines the current status of, challenges to, and strategies for increasing African Americans’ access to institutions of higher education in California.
Parking will be available for $3 at the Hammer Museum.
Letisia Márquez, UCLA Office of Media Relations, 310-206-3986.

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