UMass Amherst Professors to Lead Forum on Affirmative Action and Diversity on Oct. 21

Daniel Gordon
Amilcar Shabazz

AMHERST, Mass. – A public discussion and question-and answer session on the topics of affirmative action and diversity is being held Monday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m. in the Commonwealth Honors College Events Hall at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The discussion will be led by UMass Amherst professors Daniel Gordon and Amilcar Shabazz.

A controversial concept introduced by President John F. Kennedy in the early 1960s, affirmative action has been a practice employed to increase diversity in the workplace and the classroom. In the open forum, the professors aim to facilitate better understanding of the debate and controversy. Considering the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision regarding the use of race in college admissions, the two professors will also explore the implications of affirmative action policy and court rulings on college campuses.

They are prepared to respond to common questions on these topics: Why is there so much debate about affirmative action? How does diversity relate to affirmative action? What are the implications of the US Supreme Court’s recent decision on affirmative action?

Gordon is the interim dean of Commonwealth Honors College and a professor of history at the university. Shabazz serves as the chancellor’s faculty advisor for diversity and excellence as well as a professor of Afro-American studies.