We Shouldn't Go Backwards: Ensuring Diversity on our College Campuses

Over the last 7 months during the Trump Presidency, Americans have been witness to one of the biggest efforts to dismantle the earned benefits and the progress we have made as a nation since the New Deal.

While there is much to be done in order to help bridge gaps in healthcare, the workforce, and even understanding between different racial groups and socioeconomic classes, I am deeply proud of the work we accomplished as a nation under then-President Obama, including when I served as his Secretary of Labor.

Sadly, according to an internal announcement leaked to the New York Times, the Trump Administration is preparing to utilize one of the formerly-premier civil rights enforcement agencies – the Justice Department’s civil rights division – as a sword to reduce diversity on our college campuses. The civil rights division of the Justice Department was created to help minority groups, and using this same division to harm those groups is radical and heart-wrenching.

First generation students, students from low-income backgrounds, immigrants, and historically disadvantaged groups like African-Americans and Latinos already suffer from an education gap – one that affects them as they move into the workforce at lower pay and try to reach their own American Dream that seems increasingly out of reach.

The federal government should continue to build upon our progress by promoting college acceptances for minority and underserved communities – not by slamming shut the gates of higher education.

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