Civil Rights Project Moves to UCLA
The Civil Rights Project, the nation's leading research center on issues of civil rights and racial inequality, will move from Harvard University to UCLA in 2007, said Aimée Dorr, dean of UCLA's Graduate School of Education & Information Studies. Established at Harvard University in 1996 by its current director and co-founder, professor Gary Orfield, the Civil Rights Project will be co-directed by Orfield and professor Patricia Gándara, who are both joining the UCLA faculty.
Renamed the Civil Rights Project/El Proyecto de CRP, the
project will add a stronger focus on issues of critical importance to the West
and Southwest, including immigration and language discrimination, Dorr said.
"I am delighted that Patricia Gándara and Gary Orfield are joining UCLA as professors of education," Dorr said. "Each brings exceptional expertise and vision to work on some of the most important problems of our time. The Civil Rights Project/El Proyecto de CRP will be a vibrant addition to the campus."
The Civil Rights Project, having commissioned more than 400 reports and issued 12 books over the last 10 years, will continue its established mission of research and advocacy for multiracial civil rights issues while also expanding its agenda. Its current work includes many studies of affirmative action, school segregation, the school dropout crisis, federal racial statistics and numerous other issues, including federal legislation such as No Child Left Behind.
In addition to its strong emphasis on national issues, the Project/El Proyecto will also focus on California and local policy issues and work actively with non-English language media to reach a broader portion of the public, issuing reports in Spanish as well as English. As it adds both new issues and new staff, including graduate student researchers, it will maintain some staff in Cambridge, Mass., as well as in other locations.
"Building on more than a decade of work, the Project/El Proyecto will take full advantage of the intellectual resources of UCLA, as well as capitalize on the University of California's presence in both Sacramento and Washington, D.C.," Gándara said. "UCLA is providing substantial institutional support. The move will enable us to work with the university's centers of research and with scholars who are dedicated to civil rights action and study. We can then focus more sharply on state and national issues."
The project's work was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in its 2003 decision upholding affirmative action in college admissions. The Civil Rights Project recently coordinated the submission of a social science brief signed by 553 scholars at more than 200 institutions in 42 states in support of two cases currently before the Supreme Court, which will determine the future of voluntary integration in public schools.
Orfield noted that he expected to continue without
interruption the ongoing work of the Civil Rights Project on education reform,
civil rights enforcement and equal opportunity for all of America's children
while expanding the project's range of action. One of the first events
sponsored in Los Angeles will center on a new book by Gándara, Orfield and
researcher Catherine Horn on race and equity in California higher education.
Gándara was professor of education at UC Davis, where she has been on the faculty since 1990. As co-director of the Civil Rights Project/El Proyecto de CRP, she will bring a background as a social scientist with the RAND Corp., director of education research for the California Assembly and commissioner for postsecondary education for California. Now associate director for the UC Linguistic Minority Research Institute, she is the author of "Understanding the Latino Education Gap: Why Latinos Don't Go to College," to be published by Harvard University Press.
Orfield has been professor of education and social policy at Harvard University since 1991. He co-founded the Civil Rights Project in 1996 with Harvard Law School professor Christopher Edley, Jr., who is now dean of Boalt Hall Law School at UC Berkeley. Orfield is an author or editor of numerous books, including the recent "School Resegregation: Must the South Turn Back?," "Dropouts in America: Confronting the Graduation Rate Crisis" and "Higher Education and the Color Line: College Access, Racial Equity and Social Change." He has been an expert witness in more than three dozen class-action civil rights cases, including those in Los Angeles and San Francisco and the Louisville, Ky., case now pending before the Supreme Court.
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