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event • Lectures

The Impact of 2020 on Higher Education: Colleges, COVID-19, and a Time of Racial Reckoning

  • Thursday, November 19, 2020
    4 PM ET
  • Online on Zoom
Student using laptop
Photo by fizkes

How should universities respond to the many crises facing our nation and our students today? COVID-19, protests for racial justice, and structural inequality all directly affect student populations, with disproportionate impact on communities of color and those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Speakers on this panel will discuss the challenges faced by students today, the role of university presidents and leadership during turbulent times, and the ethical costs of upward mobility in higher education. Join us to explore how higher education can and should rise to the challenges of 2020 and beyond.

This program is presented as part of the Presidential Initiative on Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery, a University-wide effort housed at Harvard Radcliffe Institute.

Event Video

Student using laptop


Eddie R. Cole, associate professor of higher education and organizational change, School of Education & Information Studies, UCLA

Anthony Abraham Jack, Shutzer Assistant Professor, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and assistant professor of education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Jennifer Morton, associate professor of philosophy and core faculty in the Philosophy, Politics and Economics Program, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 


Kemeyawi Wahpepah, PhD student, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Eddie R. Cole, The Campus Color Line: College Presidents and the Struggle for Black Freedom (Princeton University Press, 2020)

Anthony Abraham Jack, The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students (Harvard University Press, 2019)

Jennifer Morton, Moving Up without Losing Your Way: The Ethical Costs of Upward Mobility (Princeton University Press, 2019)

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