When Diversity Drops
Race, Religion, and Affirmative Action in Higher Education
Publication Year: 2013
The story documents IVCF’s evolution from a predominantly white group that rarely addressed race to the most racially diverse campus fellowship at the university. However, its ability to maintain its multiethnic membership was severely hampered by the drop in black enrollment at California University following the passage of Proposition 209, a statewide affirmative action ban.
Park demonstrates how the friendships that students have—or do not have—across racial lines are not just a matter of personal preference or choice; they take place in the contexts that are inevitably shaped by the demographic conditions of the university. She contends that a strong organizational commitment to diversity, while essential, cannot sustain racially diverse student subcultures. Her work makes a critical contribution to our understanding of race and inequality in collegiate life and is a valuable resource for educators and researchers interested in the influence of racial politics on students’ lives.
Published by: Rutgers University Press
Title Page, Copyright PAge
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Preface and Acknowledgments
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When I was in college, I visited a childhood friend who was attending Stanford University. One night she invited me to a group discussion on race that was being hosted by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF), an evangelical student organization that she attended regularly. When we got there, we were asked to break into small groups by race and, ...
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It was a warm spring afternoon at what I am calling, for reasons of ano-nymity, California University (CU), a large public institution on the West Coast. A gaggle of students lined both sides of CU Walk, a pathway where students often gathered during lunchtime to pass out fliers and socialize. There were the usual staples— a table covered with pamphlets from the ...
The Cultural and Organizational Contexts of Race, Religion, and Higher Education
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Several scholarly examinations of campus fellowships focus on how these groups function as oppositional subcultures that shield evangelical Chris-tian students from the ungodly influence of the secular university (see, for example, Bramadat 2000; Bryant 2004; Magolda and Ebben Gross 2009). In the late twentieth and early twenty- first centuries, issues of race and ...
Changing a Culture
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...[IVCF] was very diverse and that was relatively new. I mean, diversity for me was white people, all white or all Asian, and I saw a lot of everybody else in the fellowship. It wasn’t even just like half white and half Asian, it was everything, African Americans, Hispanics, Latinos, Middle Eastern, and Indian and stuff. . . . I enjoyed the diversity of the leadership as much, ...
Pursuing Common Goals
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In the public’s mind, evangelical Christians are known more for their aggressive advocacy on issues such as abortion and same- sex marriage than for their commitment to racial justice. Sandy explained how she struggled to justify IVCF’s emphasis on race to fellow Christians:I think [racial reconciliation is] just a harder issue for people to ...
“Man, This Is Hard”
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I remember those moments where I’m going through something as a black man that’s really, really hard, and I want to run to my black friends. I do and it’s good. Then God’s like “You need to share with your roommate. You need to share with Hiroshi. You need to share with Matthew,” and all these men that aren’t black that God really wants me to let into my life. ...
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After the passage of Prop. 209, black and Latino/a students were an extreme minority at CU and experienced much isolation, especially in the classroom. Numerous studies describe the constant tensions that such stu-dents experience on campuses where they are a minority and how “racial battle fatigue” wears them down over time (Feagin, Vera, and Imani 1996; ...
When Race Goes on the Backburner
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I feel like we’ve either dropped the ball or lost a vision that was originally there. I think that we’ve lost a lot of diversity and that’s disturbing, some-Racial reconciliation was IVCF’s lead value from 1999 to 2004, but in 2005 the chapter adapted evangelism as its core focus for the year.1 The shift reflected the group’s desire to focus on other core values while still ...
When a Minority Is the Majority
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Numerous works provide insight into what it is like for students of color to be a minority group at traditionally white colleges and universities (see, for example, Feagin, Vera, and Imani 1996; Fries- Britt and Turner 2001; Winkle- Wagner 2009). However, we rarely hear students of color reflect on what it is like to be part of the numerical majority in a traditionally ...
Renewing a Commitment
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On the first Thursday of the new term, we piled into the auditorium for the weekly IVCF meeting. The new worship team was visibly more diverse than it had been in the past, with a mixture of black, white, and Asian American students. The worship leader led the singing: “You alone are worthy. . . . You alone are righteous. . . .” Then we sang the same song in ...
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In February 2010 the University of California, San Diego, received sub-stantial national media attention, not because one of its renowned faculty members had won another Nobel Prize but because a group of students had thrown a seriously offensive ghetto- themed party. The hosts of “the Compton Cookout” invited women to dress in a manner emulating “ghetto ...
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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JULIE J. PARK is an assistant professor in the College of Education at the University of Maryland, College Park (Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education; Student Affairs Concentration). A native Ohioan, she received her Ph.D. in education from the University of Califor-nia, Los Angeles. Her research addresses issues of race, religion, and equity ...
Page Count: 214
Publication Year: 2013