Creating inclusive institutions : race-based affirmative action policies in higher education in the United States and Brazil




Weninger, Priscilla E.

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"Creating Inclusive Institutions: Race-based Affirmative Action Policies in Higher Education in the United States and Brazil" is a comparative analysis examining the impact of race-based policies on university enrollment rates of African-descendants in the United States and Brazil. The report contextualizes the history and use of race-based policy mechanisms at the University of Texas at Austin and the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ), and draws parallels between the two case studies. The report finds that, as the United States moves away from race-based policies, U.S. public universities are increasingly pressured to support race-neutral policies that negate the need to correct for structural barriers African-Americans face in their pursuit for a postsecondary education. Race-based policies in the United States survive only because they increase levels of diversity, which have been shown to enhance the educational quality for all students in the classroom regardless of race. As a result, U.S. public universities grow increasingly exclusive, as minority student enrollments decline under race-neutral policies. Meanwhile, Brazil begins a new era embracing race-conscious policies to correct for enduring structural barriers faced by its Afro-Brazilian population in its pursuit for social and economic mobility. As Brazil increases its status as a global economic power, the State has identified an urgent need to quickly integrate its vast Afro-Brazilian population into positions of power. By upholding racial quotas as constitutional in public universities, Brazil creates more inclusive institutions, invests in the future of its citizenry, and improves its chances to sustain economic growth and create a truly shared economic prosperity.




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