Linda Sheryl Greene is a legal expert on a deep and wide range of incredibly important issues and historic events. The Dean of Michigan State University College of Law and Michigan State University Foundation professor is an international authority on the American civil rights movement; on disparities in health, sports, and education; on the separation of powers; on the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements … the list goes on.
On December 6 at 5:30pm, Dean Greene comes to Philadelphia for a public lecture at the Penn Carey Law School. She’ll speak on an issue that’s been part of the fabric of American education for centuries: “The Desegregation of Higher Education, Past, Present and Future.”
It’s an apt topic for the annual Honorable A. Leon Higginbotham Jr. Memorial lecture, named for the late civil rights champion, legal scholar, longtime trustee at Penn, Medal of Freedom recipient (and the subject of a new Citizen-powered mural in West Philly). Higginbotham experienced more than his share of educational and professional discrimination in his lifetime. He worked tirelessly for equality not only in the U.S. but also in South Africa, where he wrote the post-apartheid constitution for his friend Nelson Mandela.
Greene’s talk will connect the dots from the days before Brown vs. Board of Education through 2003’s Grutter vs. Bollinger, two landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases that established prioritizing student diversity as an educational and social good. She will then bring us to the present, just when the highest court in the land is likely to reverse affirmative action in cases involving Harvard University and the University of North Carolina.
Writes Greene, “prior decisions and current court composition suggest that the Court will overrule Grutter 5-4 or 6-3 and will impose significant constraints on race conscious admissions programs, developments that neither surprise nor deter those who are determined to desegregate higher education.
Let’s seize this opportunity to reimagine the university as a site of transformative opportunity and presumptive inclusion that nurtures the whole of human potential.”
Fitts Auditorium, Penn Carey Law School, 3501 Sansom Street
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