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    Academic Webinar: Climate Justice
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    Adil Najam, professor and dean emeritus of the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, leads the conversation on climate justice. FASKIANOS: Thank you. Welcome to today’s session of the Fall 2022 CFR Academic Webinar Series. I’m Irina Faskianos, vice president of the National Program and Outreach at CFR. Today’s discussion is on the record, and the video and transcript will be available on our website, CFR.org/academic. As always, CFR takes no institutional positions on matters of policy. We’re delighted to have Adil Najam with us to talk about climate justice. Dr. Najam is professor of international relations and Earth and environment and dean emeritus of the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University. Previously he served as vice chancellor of the Lahore University of Management Sciences in Pakistan, and as a director of the Boston University Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future. He has also taught at MIT and Tufts University and served on the UN Committee on Development and on Pakistan’s Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs. Dr. Najam was a coauthor for the Third and Fourth Assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC, and has served on various boards and written over a hundred scholarly papers and book chapters. So, Dr. Najam, thank you for being with us today to talk about this very important topic. Can you talk a little bit about what climate justice is, and why it is so important for international relations? NAJAM: Thank you. Thank you, Irina. It’s wonderful to be here. It’s wonderful to see a lot of participants here. So I’m looking forward to this conversation. I want to just maybe sort of frame a few ideas in the next ten, fifteen minutes on global climate justice. And I purposely added the “global” to it. I am very happy, and I hope we will have a discussion also and questions on domestic climate justice, because climate justice is not simply a global issue. It is a live issue in many countries—all countries, actually, including in the United States. I want to focus on the global aspect partly because I think we in recent years don’t focus enough on it, and because I think it’s about to hit the ceiling. I think we will hear a lot about it in the coming months in this year and going forward, including because of Pakistan, which is where I’m from and where I was literally sort of two days ago. And this background you see behind me is Lahore University of Management Sciences. And I say that because of the massive floods that you and your viewers have been reading about. In many ways, that has brought not only for Pakistan but for the world this issue of global climate justice back into focus, as the UN secretary-general came to Pakistan, and all that. If you allow me to just share a few slides to say a bit about what climate justice is, I’m hoping you see a black screen now, and you see my name sort of coming up. If people are seeing that and they are seeing my slides. I won’t go into the details of sort of who I am. You have done that. But I wanted to use this to contextualize a couple of questions around this. And the first one of this is about what I was just saying, which is we are beginning to sort to think again about what the climate is telling us. Not want we want from the climate, but we are now at a point in climate change reality where the climate is giving us signals, and it is giving us signals about justice. The second is, just to raise a few questions and thoughts about what I call the age of adaptation, which essentially—I’m assuming all your viewers know the difference between mitigation and adaptation. We have been fixated, as we should have been, about mitigation, which is what can we do to keep climate change from happening. The fact is, we have failed. The fact is, we are now in what I call the age of adaptation where, at least by my calculation, about 2.5 billion—2 ½ billion people—are now having to adapt to global climate change, including, for example, the thirty million Pakistanis who were displaced in these recent floods. And what that means for climate justice is that in the age of climate adaptation, justice becomes much more of an issue. Because let’s just put it up there to think about what that means as individual countries, beginning developing countries now, the impacts are happening on the people who have very little and sometimes nothing to do with causing the problem. And then the argument becomes, well, you have a fingerprint. You live in Boston. You have been emitting many times more than, for example, your brother living in Pakistan. And yet, the impacts there are happening to people who have got nothing to do with it, and that’s the justice argument, right? And that leads to what we call sort of talks of reparation. That leads to loss and damage, which is a language that you hear a lot about. And finally, this question of why is climate now and in the future essentially a justice issue? And I would add, you know, essentially is the key thing that I mention there. It is good to see people on Zoom, though Zoom is not essentially my favorite medium. I think the only good thing it does is we can change our backgrounds. That was me teaching my class on sustainable development last year. But that’s not the point. The point I want to come to about climate justice is the following: That, as I said, we are coming to a head. I think you have done this literally at the point when we are coming to a head. And the reason we are coming to a head is, A, the age of adaptation I talked about and, B, sort of where we are in this post-Paris, the climate agreement, world. And there were two essential things that came out of that. One was this number. And if you count the zeros there, I don’t know how many of the people sort of, find it easy when there are that many zeros, but that’s 100 billion. That’s the number that came out of Paris, saying that’s the amount that will be invested in developing countries in particular, per year, on climate adaptation as well as mitigation. I’ll only put the point out there, why this is a climate issue. It hasn’t materialized. The last couple of climate negotiations were entirely about that. And therefore, you have a lot of countries that are now beginning to face the impacts saying: We in good faith went and started doing something about this issue that wasn’t even of our making on this agreement that the world would come together. And the world hasn’t come together. The reality of climate is even more stark. These two numbers that you’re all familiar with, 1.5 and two (degrees). The fact of the matter is, I know of no science at this point where 1.5 (degrees) can actually be achieved. I hope I’m wrong. I hope I’m wrong. I think we cling to the hope, but just from a reality perspective 1.5 (degrees) is nearly out of the game. And two (degrees) may be very closely coming to the game. And that is making a lot of countries very scared. If you remember why 1.5 (degrees) came, it is that Paris actually wanted a two-degree target. And then the small, especially island, states said: By two degrees we aren’t there. It’s existential for us. We are underwater, or nearly underwater. So what I’m trying to set up here is that there’s a moment that we are in global affairs where this issue of climate justice is just boiling. If I—if you will allow me just a bit—you know, we often talk about 2020 because of COVID as a year like no other. Let me remind us what else was happening other than COVID in that year. Why it was really a year like no other. January 2020, hottest January ever—ever recorded since we started recording. February, second hottest ever recorded. March, second hottest. April, second hottest ever. May, hottest ever. You see the pattern here, right? And you remember seeing these. You might have tweeted about it. By July, no one was tweeting about it because the cat was more interesting—the dancing cat. And we had started getting used to this, you know, just barrage of climate data coming every month. Eight out of those twelve, as far as I can tell, records have been broken since then. Why am I putting this as climate justice? Again, you have a lot of places in the world—floods in Pakistan being one, heat in India being another, floods in Bangladesh being another—all across the world who are now seeing that impact in the age of adaptation. I’ll give you just two very quick other pictures, and then come to the climate—sort of, you know, open up very soon. And why I mean—why I state that we are in the age of adaptation, right? I hope people can see this. I some years ago decided I’m not going to put future data on climate. This is recorded, past data for every month ever since we started keeping climate records. So this is not about what will happen. This is about what has happened. And this ends around 2016. You can take it to 2022 now. And it starts touching 1.5 (degrees) even more. Touching 1.5 (degrees) doesn’t really mean that the barrier has been crossed because sort of, you know, that’s the way sort of it’s counted. But you see the pattern again. And you see, again, for a lot of countries—and it’s not just countries. For the poorest people in the countries. This is true about the Pakistan floods, for example. If you look at the floods, it’s not the affluent in Pakistan whose homes get sort of blown away. It is the poorest. So essentially what we are seeing is that the poorest people, the most vulnerable people around the world, are paying the cost of our inaction—my inaction, other—(inaudible)—inaction, right? Now, you might be saying, that’s fine, but I don’t live on the planet. I live in a particular place. So choose your place. Same data. For every point on Earth that we have data for, ever since we have data on climate. So what I’m trying to say is the age of adaptation is here. Just look at that picture. Choose the place you are interested in, and you start seeing that pattern. And if we are in the age of adaptation, once people start seeing impacts, right, they’re starting to see impacts. As soon as you start seeing impacts, you start demanding a very different sort of action. And that’s where—that’s where climate justice comes. Let me show a quick map. This is actually an old map, 2014. But the interesting thing—the reason I still use is it’s from Standard & Poor’s. It’s from a rating agency of risk. And if you look at that map, and you look at the red countries where the impacts are the most immediate, and you start thinking about where the emissions are coming from, this tells you what the climate justice argument globally is. One very last—one very last point, and then I move to you. That while it is a global issue, it is also a domestic issue. And again, we think of climate justice by linking it to other justice issues, as we should. I’m only putting one picture here. What happened in the age of adaptation that makes it a justice issue? One of the things that happens is it immediately changes from an energy issue—a primarily energy issue, to a predominantly water issue. When you’re thinking about mitigation, right—mostly when we talk about the climate, we talk about how we can reduce emissions. And as soon as you talk emissions, you’re essentially talking energy. You’re essentially carbon management, right? You’re bringing down carbon emission. Most of them are in energy. And therefore, a lot of our policy is about that. As soon as you start talking age of adaptation, a lot of it is about water. What do I mean by that? Think about impacts. When you think about what’s happened, not just in Pakistan. I’m using the Pakistan example because I’ve just come from there but think about wherever you are. A lot of the immediate impacts are about water. Water rises, sea-level rise. Water melts, glaciers. Water disappears, drought. Water falls from the sky like no one’s business, extreme events. That’s what a flood looks like in a country like Pakistan, but it’s not just Pakistan. It’s many other countries. And again, if it becomes water, it immediately becomes something that affects the poorest people, the most vulnerable people, the most marginalized people, and those who have historically been least responsible. To give you just a picture of what a flood like this means in Pakistan, this is from 2010. But if you look at that blue squiggle, that’s the area covered by the flood. That blue, the dark blue and light blue, is the severe and very severe. I put that on a map to scale of the U.S. to give a sense of what is covered like what you see in that picture. It’s up from Vermont down to Florida. I put it on the map of Japan, it covers the whole country. I put it on a map of Europe, Denmark to France. And the point of that is now you are in this moment that I’m talking about where it becomes a justice issue because within developing countries there is this immense pressure of climate being see as a reality, right? And that pressure then starts pushing domestic politics, and domestic politics start pushing international politics. So that’s my context of climate justice, as we see it. FASKIANOS: Thank you very much for that sobering overview. And I think the slides that you showed really bring it to life and make it so much—you see it really so starkly. So thank you for that. So now we want to go to all of you for your questions. (Gives queuing instructions.) So now I’m just going to go to questions and see—we have several raised hands. OK. So I’m going to take the first question from Fordham University. I don’t know who’s asking the question, so please let us know who you are. Q: Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for the discussion. My name is (inaudible), representing the International Political and Economic Development—I’m part of that program. And my question is just in regards to what we’re currently seeing. So I’m originally from South Africa and the just transition was a very topical point when it came to climate change and climate adaptation. And there was a push for the emerging markets to actually adopt renewable energy, moving away from coal. However, we see that recently, with the Russian and Ukrainian war, there has been an increase in demand and exports from Africa to the northern regions for coal. And you see that certain regions, such as Germany, has started powering up their coal-powered station, due to the lack of energy that they’ll see from the Russian nation. So my question is, what is the impact of what we see with this event being the war, and the impact on the increase in coal? And what does this mean for climate adaptation? Especially from regions from Europe, where African regions will be looking to them to actually see them adapting this change in climate and energy, I guess. NAJAM: Irina, do you want to take a few questions and then come back, or? Whichever way you want. FASKIANOS: I think we should just go—let’s go through them one at a time. NAJAM: Sure. Sure. Thank you for that question. It has many layers. I’ll pick up on a few. And the first one is that you are exactly right. In a world that is crisis prone, in a world that is turbulent—we saw that with COVID, we are seeing that with the economic turmoil of COVID that still continues in all sorts of ways, and we’ve seen that with the war in Ukraine—climate comes as this sort of—you know, we used to say climate is a threat multiplier. And now I think climate is the threat, and everything else is multiplied. And so we should expect that climate is going to be exacerbated by all these other things, and these other things are going to be exacerbated by climate. So what you are talking about in terms of energy is one issue, but as I talked to my friends in Africa, it is not just energy. Food, for example, is going to be hit equally hard. So in terms of energy, in terms of the Ukraine war, we see that not just in Africa but in other parts of the world. We see it in some places in coal. We see it all places in oil prices. But what is—what is hitting Africa particularly hard, for example, is food. Now, what does that have to do with climate adaptation? What it has to do with climate adaptation is that it comes at a time when the stress on food production—because, for example, water stress is already there, right? So that’s the multiplier thing. One of the most difficult things I find in my work for policymakers is that they want clarity. And I keep telling them, there isn’t clarity. There isn’t going to be clarity. This is why the floods, for example, were important. Immediately the question is, but how do we know this is because of climate? We’ve had floods before, right? Or we have had droughts before. And what is now becoming increasingly clear is it’s not like climate is going to give you a new set of issues. It is going to take the issues and do two things. One, the magnitude increases. And two, the frequency goes berserk, because whatever you thought was a twenty-year flood or a fifteen-year drought, now you have no way of doing it. And that creates an uncertainty for developing countries. But the justice question really—the justice question is that whose fingerprint is on it? And that’s the one that I would say you should keep—it is not going to be made for good politics. What I say is coming, I am very scared, because the politics it leads to is the politics of division. Till now we’ve had the politics on climate mostly—you know, even if it’s ineffective—it’s about mostly in the form of let’s all come together, it’s a common problem. What you saw in these floods—and the reason I keep mentioning it—one important thing is the UN secretary-general goes to Pakistan and for the first time clearly says: This is because of climate. That means, you know, this is coming from the top. You hear it at the top, and that is going to lead to a divisive politics. FASKIANOS: So there’s a written question from Mark Hallim, who’s a doctoral student, global security student, at the American Military University. How can climate change be achieved without leadership, political will, and development by nation-state leaders? NAJAM: (Laughs.) Not easily. Not easily. (Laughter.) Not easily. The fact, Mark, you said, right? FASKIANOS: Mark, yes. NAJAM: Mark. The fact, Mark, is that we have been kicking this one down the road. And that’s why we are confronting it. Till now—you know, I’ve been on this thing for at least thirty years. I was at Rio in 1992. I’ve been following the climate for nearly at every COP, at least until Copenhagen. And it’s not that the issue is new. We knew this from the beginning. The hope, the hope—because those of us who work on climate are essentially optimists. We want this problem to be licked. The hope was that we won’t come to the age of adaptation. The hope was that we would do enough on mitigation, right? What is adaptation? It’s the failure of mitigation. We would do enough that we wouldn’t come to this point of finger pointing. And therefore, it is going to become more and more difficult. Now, interestingly, again, if—the most important thing that’s happened in climate justice, to answer your question, this last week—I still haven’t read the exact document. But for the first time a country, in this case Denmark, has said that they are going to acknowledge the principle of loss and damage. Now, this is huge. For those of us who study—so, I’m assuming all of our audience are people who study this. Loss and damage, what’s loss and damage? You know, it’s just words. But it is more than words, if you take it seriously. Loss and damage means that if there is loss to someone or damage to someone, those who are responsible for it will somehow pay for it. We don’t do international relations like that. There are nearly no other areas in which we have things like that. I think what Denmark is trying, to answer Mark’s question, is saying: Let us restart, rethinking how we do climate assistance and climate aid, to address loss and damage. The challenge—the reason I’m scared about this is, imagine—you know, not even imagine. You don’t have to imagine. Just remember what happened in the summer. You had about twenty countries that had potentially climatically induced massive events—whether they were of heat, whether they were of fire, whether they were of drought, right? You get a planet where you see more and more of these things happening. It is not just the appetite for assistance. It is simply the capacity for assistance that will go. One last line, because I want to hear from others. And at the same time you have climate justice issues within developing countries, right? Now you have to choose between climate justice within the U.S. and countries elsewhere also pushing. That is why I’m insisting that it doesn’t make for pretty politics. FASKIANOS: Thank you. I’m going to go next to Isaac Alston-Voyticky, who has raised your hand. Q: Thank you very much. Can you hear me? FASKIANOS: Yes. NAJAM: Yes. Q: Great. So I’m actually a CUNY law student. And I am working on kind of the intersection between technology and environmental change. And I have kind of a combination question. First, what are your predictions for the combination of sea level rise and tides for mean higher high-water levels? For example, can we predict that higher sea level will actually have an effect on tidal highs and lows outside of the traditional modeling? And then, as a follow up to that, are there any models or maps out there which illustrate combination climate data. One of the most annoying things I find in my research is that, for example, NOAA’s sea level rise and tidal flooding can’t be compounded on its interactive map. They don’t show what will happen when sea level rises and tides also happen. So I don’t know if there’s anything out there. NAJAM: Isaac, I’ll be honest. I don’t know the answer to that, to the technical part of that. But the question is very, very good from a policy side. And I’m particularly happy that you’re coming from a law direction to this. So what policymakers often want, and they are also disturbed, just like you are, they want clear answers, right? I’ve been working on this for years. And they say, well, tell us what climate will do to my agriculture. I say, I don’t know. I wish I did. I wish I could tell you it will be ten times worse, this or that. Because then at least you would have something to plan with. The thing about climate change is not just the climate, it is the change. What makes it scary is that we don’t know what the change will be. But let me—let me, in not answering your question—not knowing the answer to the technical part—I have not seen those maps either. And I do not know what the combination is. There are many people I know who are as worried about that combination as you are, particularly in small island states. Because what people are realizing is that it’s not going to be one thing at one time. You get here, and you get hit there, and then you get hit in the face again, right? And again, just because of what—where I’m coming from, I’ll give you the Pakistan example. These floods that you’ve been hearing about, actually, the flood isn’t that bad. Pakistan is used to floods, and it isn’t that bad. Something happened there which was in some ways synonymous to what you are talking about. What happened is that six weeks before the floods, there was massive heat and near drought, which means you essentially get a clay soil, right, that has been totally depleted. Three weeks before what we call the floods, there was massive rain—monsoon which was seven times the expected normal—seven times. And those were the first pictures that came. And again, that is clearly because of climate. Seven times doesn’t happen. You know, and they came. And what that meant was on totally dry land they created this sort of lake effect, the type of picture you saw. And then came a flood which was higher than usual, but would have been manageable. Why am I giving you this example? That’s the one punch, two punch, three punch, much like your tides. Now, if you are a small island country, that’s what you are worried about. You are worried about that even if sea level rise on its own you can deal with in adaptation, you can prepare for. What happens when that happens, and the tidal change happens? It is the uncertainty—what makes climate particularly unpredictable is the uncertainty of what we are seeing, not simply the magnitude of the change. Now, and this is particularly true for sea level rise. I am an optimist still. I think we are a wise enough species, particularly for sea level rise. We are able to change our life patterns and where we live. We have technology in many places to deal with it. But the reason we worry about is not because sort of—you know, it’s not like Hollywood, where New York will be half underwater. I really don’t think that will happen. I think we will get—come to our senses well before that. But it is this one-two-three punch of multiple climatic events happening together. Sorry I don’t have a technical answer to your question, but it is a very good question. FASKIANOS: I’m going to take the next question from Molly O’Brien, who’s at George Mason University. Climate change demonstrates the complex ways in which food, energy, and water are interconnected systems. What are the most promising approaches you’ve seen to addressing climate change from a nexus perspective, rather than addressing distinct aspects of food, energy, and water individually? NAJAM: Thank you for that. I have seen some promising discussion, even if not fully implemented yet. You know, I’ve talked about—and I’m glad you talk about this. So as I’ve talked about this age of adaptation, there is a—I don’t know if it’s an opportunity—but there is—there is a hidden opportunity in that. And the hidden opportunity is that adaptation is essentially development. Show me any adaptation activity, and I will show you a development activity. I’m particularly talking about developing countries. And it is particularly about food, water—in particular about food and water. Food, in many ways, is nature’s way of packaging water. And so that’s—the nexus is the answer. Now, one of the things—I’ll give you one example of work that I had done many years—a few years ago. Again, in Pakistan, where we looked at potential climatic impacts on agriculture. This is a mostly agriculture country. And what we found—we were only looking at certain crops and certain parts of the country. So it’s not for the entire—but still for a country that majorly depends on this. The finding—I may be slightly off on the numbers, but I’m trying to recall—was that yield could go down by about 12 percent, right? Twelve percent is huge, if countries’ economies are depending on something. The interesting thing is not that. As I said, the number may be slightly off, somewhere in that range. What was interesting was that with adaptation interventions, good management, agricultural management, water management, better water use efficiency, better use of various technologies and so on and so forth, there could be a net benefit, even after accounting for climate change. And what that means is that there may be an opportunity around the world, if we take the nexus approach—and this is why sort of moving simply from carbon management to what you’re calling the nexus approach is not only a good answer, it is the only answer. And again, we see this not only in developing countries. We see this as countries think about net zero. I want to come to net zero again, because I’m not fully a fan of it. But the good thing about net zero is that it says: What can we do as a system rather than as a one-point lever on carbon going up and down? So short answer to your question is, what you’re calling the nexus approach is the only approach to adaptation. And in fact, having the most vulnerable countries start focusing on that food-water nexus, rather than only on emissions, is a good thing. You know, Bangladesh can bring its emissions down to zero. World emissions aren’t going to see much of a dent, right? But if Bangladesh starts focusing on food and water, it can make an actual difference on the type of impacts that 200 million people will face. FASKIANOS: Thank you. I’m going to take the next question, raised hand, from Evaristus Obinyan. Q: Can you hear me? FASKIANOS: Yes. Tell us your affiliation, please. Q: I’m Dr. Evaristus Obinyan. I’m a criminologist. (Laughs.) As you can see, I’m not in the science field, but I’m very interested in this particular issue. I’m a professor at the Middle Georgia State University in Macon, Georgia. Now, I—listening to you intently, I thought I heard you say stop it from happening. But after I’ve seen the digitized presentations, I realized that you were—you wanted to use it—it’s sort of happening or deteriorating. Because you are saying that to stop the—this from happening—you know, absolutely, it’s already happening—to stop it from deteriorating. Now, some say, like myself—I said nothing works. This is just the story of the planet. It has to go through this major evolution. How, then, can we stop the deterioration? Maybe, actually, it won’t matter really, or maybe we can use science and technology to manage or attempt to mitigate the natural planet evolution. FASKIANOS: Thank you. NAJAM: I hope I got the gist. I think I did, but if I failed—if I missed something, my apologies. There are two central points I want to pick up from that. I am not as pessimistic as you seem to be. I do think things work. I think—first of all, you’re right. You’re right, what we are seeing is a deterioration. Our efforts to try to mitigate have not yielded. And despite the fact that we have much higher interest in climate, and despite the fact that people sort of want to do the right thing, the fact of the matter is that line about emissions is just going upward, and upward, and upward. So that’s a reality. You are exactly right. But I am not going to extrapolate that into the belief that we can’t do anything. I think we have been reluctant to change lifestyle. And despite the fact—you know, we are an amazing generation. We are—my generation was amongst the first generation in the world which had more food than the world needed. And yet, people were hungry. We have more technology, better science than ever before. And we had more money, and yet people were sleeping poor. So the question is not of the ability to do it. The question is of willingness to do it. I mean, I have—I have faith in our species. I believe that it is a race between human knowledge and human wisdom. I think we have the knowledge to lick the problem, without creating lifestyles that are extremely uncomfortable. I’m not sure we have the wisdom to do it in time. We keep seeing that again. So I’m not willing to give up and say, well, this is inevitable. This is not inevitable. This is a choice. We make the choice. And I hope we can make an alternative choice. Now, the question then is, how will we do that? And I know it’s going to sound glib, I think at least theoretically the answer is what we've had for a number of years, which is sustainable development. But we need to look at this growth model again, that growth for its own sake as a goal keeps too fixated on this constant growth pattern, as opposed to moving towards a lifestyle that is comfortable and yet that doesn’t kill the planet that has given you this amazing sort of set of resources. FASKIANOS: Great. Thank you. I’m going to take Ivan Ramirez’s question, from the University of Colorado, Denver. And he’s originally from Ecuador. When I think about and discuss climate justice, I focus or relate it to health, existing disparities, and how climate exacerbates inequities. From your perspective, how is health being leveraged in the climate negotiations, as it relates to climate justice? NAJAM: On that last part, unfortunately it’s not. Unfortunately, it’s not. It’s a beautiful question. Thank you very much for asking that. And health is just one of the areas, like many that, you know, the first question pointed out about that, about—from South Africa. This is the nature of not just climate, but of the development. That once one thing goes wrong, there is a cycle of other things unraveling. Again, since today I’ve been talking about floods in Pakistan, right now the biggest issue in Pakistan is actually not water. It is dengue. It is the mosquito. It is health, right? So that is one way in which climate events trigger. The other and more important way to answer this is, you know, you’ve noticed that I talk about ourselves as a species. I hope other people do too. I think it is useful to think of ourselves as a species, amongst many, on this planet. If you think about that, one of the things that happens is you realize we’re not the only species adapting to climate change. That’s why dengue is happening in Pakistan, even in the north, next to the Himalayas. It shouldn’t. It’s a tropical disease. So the mosquito also changes when the climate changes. And that is what’s called vector-borne disease. So amongst the scariest things in the science, and amongst the things that we actually know much less about—because we’ve been focused on carbon—is what is going to happen on vector disease? But just about all climate scientists are worried about if the climate changes, it is not just what happens to humans or, you know, the big sexy species like panda bears and polar bears. But what is going to happen to disease vectors? And disease starts moving to places where it wasn’t endemic. Which means those places are not ready for it. And again, we are still struggling to come out of COVID. Now, COVID wasn’t because of this, but people who study Ebola have been—started worrying about that, that disease vectors move. Dengue is probably amongst the one that is talked about the most, because here is a tropical, maybe equatorial disease, that has been moving upwards, both in South Asia and the Mediterranean. So the health impacts are, in fact, one of those big ones, though they have not been talked about as much as climate change. Which is not to say that people are not interested in it, it is just that we don’t know enough about it. But people are worried about it. The justice issue of all of these things—I don’t want us to lose the justice aspect. The justice aspect essentially comes from the fact that those who are most vulnerable, those who are most likely to see the impacts, are not the ones who are most responsible for creating this. That’s the dynamic that creates that divisive politics of injustice. FASKIANOS: Let me go next to Gary Prevost, who’s raised his hand. And if you could—there we go. Q: Gary Prevost, College of St. Benedict in Minnesota. As I understand it, you’re basically suggesting that the resource allocation in the coming years needs to be much more on the side of adaptation than mitigation, especially in the global south. Does this mean that, say, the $100 billion a year, if it could be achieved, that would be used in the global south would be primarily more traditional development aid for the—in all of the fields that we’ve talked about, and not so much to create green energy in the—in the south? And that in the north it would still continue to be the focus on mitigation, since we’re the ones creating the carbon footprint. Am I understanding your basic argument that way? And then finally, if it is going to be traditional—more traditional development aid, do you think that’s going to make it easier or harder to achieve it politically from the global north countries? NAJAM: Gary, that’s a brilliant question. And you’ve really sort of unwrapped what I’m saying, what I was saying politely you have said more bluntly. And you’ve also highlighted, very, very politely and diplomatically, why it is very, very difficult. So the easiest part of your question is the last part, will it make it easier or more difficult? Clearly, more difficult. Will it even be possible? Probably not. So when I say that’s what—if I think that’s what should happen, that doesn’t mean that I think it will happen. Because we don’t have any models of massive reparations or, you know, international affairs doesn’t work on your fault, you pay me. There isn’t an international environmental court, or any court, that is going to do this. So how is this going to happen, except through goodwill? And at the scale, that goodwill there is no evidence we will be seeing. But let me first come to your question, because your—the way you framed it, which is—which is kind of right. Kind of right. So I do think that going to the old essential principle that no one else talks about these days, but which was part of the original UN agreements on climate, et cetera, which is common but differentiated responsibility. I wish we had taken it more seriously. The idea of common but differentiated responsibility was: Global climate change is all of our responsibility, but it is a differentiated responsibility. Those who have had high emissions already have a high responsibility to bring them down. Those who have low emissions now have a responsibility to try to keep it lower and not go on that same trajectory by using better technology, et cetera. And those who have historical high responsibility for emissions should help create the conditions that whatever impacts happen are not catastrophic. So which meant that all countries should do something, but different countries should do differently. In a way, if you are a developing country person, as I am, one of the arguments that comes to mind, and many people say it out loud, is that the north, if you will, the industrialized countries, have been pushing developing countries to do what they were supposed to do. We aren’t really cutting our emissions that much, but why don’t you do it, Bangladesh? Bangladesh, you do EV policy. Bangladesh, you do solar policy. Or Pakistan. Or Papua New Guinea, or Burkina Faso, or whatever. I do think that it will be better, rather than pushing them only on emissions—because, you know, their emissions aren’t that much—so it is to bend the curve so that their future emissions are restricted, I understand that, right? But it’s not really solving the problem. Now that we have adaptation looming at us, I do think it is the right policy to have countries, especially with large vulnerabilities and large populations, get ready for the hit that is coming, that is already there. I don’t see that easily happening, but I do think that that is the right thing. Now, you have rightly exactly pointed out the argument from my climate friends usually is: But that’s not climate. That’s just development. That’s what they wanted to do anyhow, right? And the argument is, you’re trying to divert our climate money to your traditional development agenda. I understand the argument. I don’t agree with it, because, A, I hope it is not traditional. So let’s take a country that’s not a developing countries, the Netherlands. If there’s any country in the world that is historically prepared for climate impacts, past climate impacts, it is the Netherlands. How did it do that? Infrastructure. So I understand a lot of adaptation investment will be infrastructure. A lot of adaptation expenditure will look like traditional development. But I hope it is not traditional development. I hope it is sustainable development. And you are exactly right. I think one of the reasons we haven’t gone back—(audio break)—that route is because my old friends, people like myself maybe, who come to the climate side look at adaptation as somehow a dilution, even stealing climate money for development. And that is why—Irina has heard me say this before—climate is not, must not be, cannot be seen as the opposite of development. FASKIANOS: Thank you. I’m going to combine two written questions from Leda Barnett at Our Lady of the Lake University, who says: You’ve discussed insights on shared governance via COP and the shortcomings of multilateral diplomacy. We should continue that, of course, but do you think approaches like sanctions or smart power would be effective? Are there examples of this being used effectively? And then Diamond Bolden, who’s an undergraduate at Xavier University of Louisiana: U.S. is not impacted as much as other countries. However, we contribute to it. What policy can we implement to progress on environmental justice? Or I guess, she meant to help progress on environmental justice. NAJAM: You know, because of, again, the recent events, I see a lot of anger in a number of developing countries. That’s what I’m trying to bring here that, you know, there’s something growing out there. And a lot of it, you’ve seen that in major newspapers, New York Times, Washington Post, sort of, you know, people from developing countries are writing op-eds about reparations, about—some compare it to slavery and payments have to be made, and all that. Logically, I partly sympathize with that. But I am a realist enough to recognize that’s not how politics happens. So sanctions on who, right? (Laughs.) Are we going to put sanctions on floods? The flood isn’t going to—just because I tell it to stop, going to stop. So I’m sure you don’t mean that. Are we seeing sanctions on rich countries or rich people to pay? That sort of power dynamic, I don’t know any example in history where the weak can impose sanctions on the rich, on the strong. Now, one of the things, by the way no one has pushed me on this. You should. I keep talking north and south, but it’s not just north and south. It’s not rich countries, poor countries. It’s rich people, poor people. The same flood in Pakistan, you know, people ask me, is your family safe? Yes, they are. I come from middle class, affluent enough. The flood impacts the poorest people in Pakistan. And the richest people in Pakistan also have high emissions, right? So it’s not as stark as that. And this goes back to the last part of the second question you asked. Yes, the U.S. has higher emissions but, again, the question that hasn’t come, the U.S. has serious environmental injustice questions of its own. It doesn’t mean that all of the U.S. is equally responsible. And as the climate changes, it is the poorest and most vulnerable in the U.S. who are going to be impacted. Again, the reason I keep saying I am particularly worried about this is as that happens whatever will there might be amongst my U.S. friends to talk about global climate justice, they are going to be distracted immediately by the most real, much more close, much more visible impacts of climate justice within the country. I’ll take a slight detour, Irina, but I think it’s a relevant one. This is from Professor Bullard’s work many, many—thirty years ago. You know, when he used to point out—this is not about climate, but it’s very much related—take a map of the U.S. And on that map, put a pin on wherever a superfund, most hazardous waste dumps are. And what you have just created is a map of the poorest African American communities in the U.S. OK, that’s the environmental justice question here. So just—it hasn’t come up, but I don’t want to sound as if this is simply a north-south issue. Within the south, within the north, and then within the north-south, because climate is not looking at those borders. Those are our creations, not the climate’s. FASKIANOS: Yes. I’m going to take the next question from Keith Baker, who has a raised hand. Q: Can you hear me? FASKIANOS: We can. Q: Hey, yeah. I’m Keith Baker. I work for Dallas College. I teach accounting and finance. One of the things I’ve noticed of the last several years is that rural water systems in the United States are deteriorating at a very rapid rate. As a matter of fact, some ones I’m personally aware of, because I have some friends who work in the education industry for teaching water treatment plant people, is that they’re sending out notices to very large populations of people that says it’s not safe to drink this water. It’s not safe to bathe in this water. Do not get this water in your eyes. Oh, by the way, extended exposure to this water in taking a shower might give you cancer. Now, if that’s happening in rural America, that means that some of the other infrastructure problems that we have, like in the Dallas area where I live where we’ve had these what I call downpours that have increased in intensity in the last several years, where our water runoff system has been overwhelmed. And neighborhoods that are a good hundred feet above the normal floodplains coming from creeks are having waters back up from the storm sewer system being overwhelmed, and starting to see some houses flooded that you would have never seen flooded twenty years ago or thirty years ago. NAJAM: So, Keith, this goes back to my previous point that climate doesn’t discriminate, in this sense. Now, the map I showed there is greater vulnerability in certain parts of the world, but all parts are vulnerable. The distinction also is that if you are in a richer country, you at least theoretically have the ability to deal with it. Like hurricanes, I mean, the same hurricane comes to Haiti and then to Florida. We here in the U.S. have a greater ability to—to just to be able to buy our way out of the impacts. We can build better. We can move people. We have the resources. And therefore, one of the things you always notice about with hurricanes is that when they hit the Caribbean the headlines are about how many lives lost. And when they hit our shores, the headlines are usually about the economic cost of that. That’s a good thing. I hope for every country it’s only an economic loss, right? But you are exactly right, now the—again, from a political point of view, as these things that you are describing in rural America, and some of it very scary from what you say, as that happens countries are going to find it more and more difficult. They’re already not inclined to support other countries for environmental justice, for climate justice. And if the pressure from within their country is higher, they’re going to be less and less inclined. And this relates, for those of you who study geopolitics, not even climate, what that means is that another fault line in a very fractured world appears. So you already have a world, in terms of geopolitics, that seems to be fracturing in various ways, and you have various pulls and pushes. In comes climate, just like we saw in COVID, right, when we thought vaccine diplomacy from different countries. That reaction is also going to exacerbate. But that’s the multiplier. FASKIANOS: So I’m going to take the next question from Jeanie Bukowski, who is at Bradley University, and sitting in now with her undergraduate class. Thirty-four students, science and politics of global climate change. Could you talk a little more about how individuals, especially young people, can take action on climate justice? NAJAM: I hope I’m amongst friends. (Laughs.) I’ll tell you what I tell my students and what I tell my kids. The good news is that we have now the type of—particularly in the U.S., but all across the world, actually—all across the world, all across the world, particularly in the young, there is a very heightened sense that this issue is real and that something has to be done. A lot of that has been channeled at you guys, meaning my generation, haven’t done what you were supposed to do, which is exactly correct. But not enough—as, you know, my grandmother used to say, point one finger at someone and at least three point back at you. Not enough is being spent on what we are doing with our own lifestyle. And I think sort of that—the reason why we keep talking more about it but the graph on actual emissions doesn’t shift we need to interrogate, right? And some of those easy answers don’t really work. So, for example, and I hope I am among friends so I’ll be blunt. It is—it is nice not to have a car and say, OK, because I don’t have a car therefore I don’t have emissions. But if you’re using a lot of Uber, those are your emissions. Those are not the emissions of that car—the Uber driver. When you get UberEats to deliver food, those are not the emissions of the restaurant. Those are your emissions. When I get Amazon packages three times delivered to my home, the world’s statistics might count them as China’s emissions, because something was created in China, but those are my emissions, right? And ultimately, it is this question of lifestyle. And what I was saying earlier about we are—we have the technology. We have the knowledge. I am not sure we have the wisdom. And ultimately, that wisdom will come individually. I do not see scientifically any way—absolutely we are running out of time. I’ll be absolutely blunt. We are still living the dream that somehow I won’t change anything I do, but by corporations doing it or governments doing it there will be a magic wand by which this will be solved. I just do not see the math. And therefore, responsibility does begin with the letter I, me. FASKIANOS: I think that is a perfect place to end this discussion. So thank you for that. Adil Najam, this was a terrific hour. And there are so many questions—good questions and comments, both raised hands and in the Q&A, I regret that we could not get to all of them. But we’ll just have to have you back. So thank you very much. Appreciate it. NAJAM: Thank you for having me. Good luck to the planet, everyone. FASKIANOS: Yes, exactly. We all—we all have to think about the “I” of what we are doing, for sure. The next Academic Webinar will be on Wednesday, September 28, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time. We are hosting Christopher Tuttle, who is the senior fellow and director of the Renewing America initiative here at CFR. In the meantime, I’d encourage you to follow CFR at @CFR_Academic. And you can visit CFR.org, ForeignAffairs.com, and ThinkGlobalHealth.org for research and analysis on global issues. Thank you all, again, for being with us today. And we look forward to you joining us again next week on September 28. So thank you, again. And thank you, Dr. Najam, for this hour. NAJAM: Thank you all. (END)
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    Andrew Gordon, chief executive officer and founder of Diversity Abroad, leads the conversation on the importance of providing equitable access to global education.   CASA: Hello, and welcome to CFR’s Higher Education Webinar. I am Maria Casa, director of the National Program and Outreach at CFR. Thank you all for joining us. Today’s discussion is on the record, and the video and transcript will be made available on our website, CFR.org/academic if you would like to share them with your colleagues after today. As always, CFR takes no institutional positions on matters of policy. We are delighted to have Andrew Gordon with us to discuss the importance of providing equitable access to global education. Mr. Gordon is the founder and chief executive officer of Diversity Abroad, an organization focusing on topics pertaining to access, diversity, inclusion, and equity in international education. He works with higher education institutions, nonprofit and for profit organizations, and government agencies for developing strategies for increasing access to international education for diverse, first-generation, and high financial needs students. Mr. Gordon is a member of NAFSA: Association of International Educators, the Association of International Education Administrators, the European Association for International Education, the National Association of Black Accountants, and the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting. He is an alum of INROADS and the Association for the International Exchange of Students in Economics and Commerce. Welcome, Andrew. Thank you very much for speaking with us today. GORDON: It’s great to be here. Thank you. CASA: Can you begin by giving us an overview of what equitable access to global education means and its importance in higher education? GORDON: Yeah. Absolutely. First, just want to say thank you, Maria, for the invitation to speak and to CFR Academic for hosting this session, particularly, this important topic. As I delve into my remarks, I’ll give a little bit of background as to the—where my remarks are going to come from. As Maria mentioned, I founded an organization, Diversity Abroad, that centers diversity, equity, inclusion in global education. And over the last sixteen years had an opportunity to work with higher-education institutions, everything from community colleges to liberal arts, R-1s to Ivy Leagues, on this question of what does equitable access to global learning and global education mean. And we get this question often and, usually, when I get this question sitting in meetings with academic professionals, I, in some ways, put the question back and I say, well, what’s the benefit of global education and global learning. Why do our campuses invest in infrastructure for global education and global learning, whether that’s sending students abroad, supporting international students, ensuring that global themes are embedded into the curriculum? We often hear in the field of international education the term campus internationalization. Why are we investing in that in the first place? Well, when we think about global education and global learning and the students that engage in it, one of the organizations that many on the call may be familiar with, AAC&U, puts global learning and global education as a high impact practice, the kind of opportunities that help our students excel academically, grow interpersonally, and also be positioned that much better to thrive professionally once they leave school. And so taking a step back and thinking of the benefits of global education, we talk about students who engage in global learning opportunities. Many times this helps open their—broaden their perspective of the world as a whole. If they’re participating in a physical—or education abroad program, many times it helps them in building resilience, a deeper sense of self, having more empathy for those who are, if you will, “different” than they are, embracing difference, something I think we can all appreciate we need that much more so in our society. So when we think—and we could probably, Maria, spend the entire time that we have talking about the benefits of global education and global learning. But the thing is that we know that—those of us who work in higher education know that and in many ways we are the gatekeepers to the kind of experiences inside the classroom, outside the classroom, that we say will fall under the umbrella of global learning. So if we know the benefits of these opportunities, we know how it can impact our students, then it is—well, the onus is on us to ensure that all of our students have equitable access to the benefits of global learning. We can’t, on one side, say these are all the benefits of these phenomenal opportunities and so on and so forth, and then on the other side be OK with only certain students having access to global learning opportunities because, essentially, what we’re saying is, well, this is a great thing that we have but only certain students are able to. And when we think about what—I would say, for many folks, when we talk about global learning, I would say one of the first things we often go to is study abroad. Study abroad is a phenomenal, phenomenal experience, and we’ll talk about other forms in a moment. When we think about that particular opportunity that, I would say, is very high profile on many campuses, students graduating from high school going into university, the percentage is that eightieth, ninetieth percentile of students who are interested in study abroad. We know that is one of the global—one of the experiences that would fall under global education. We also know that, traditionally, study abroad has not reached a vast—too many of our students, we’ll say, particularly our students of color, those who are first generation, those who are coming from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. And so I think, in many ways, we’ll get students who we say are—the growing population of students on our campuses are also those that study abroad has not supported, and even when campuses have been more successful in getting students to study abroad they haven’t necessarily been as—we haven’t necessarily been as successful in supporting the success of our students while they’re there. So, when we think back to study abroad, if you will, being an aspect of global learning, which is a high-impact practice, you know, high-impact practice is only a high-impact practice if it’s properly administered. So we send students but we’re not prepared to really support our students in a very holistic way, in an inclusive way. Great, we’ve sent them but we’re not really giving them equitable access to the benefits of a global education. And, likewise, global education exists in different parts of the campus as well. Think about what happens in our classrooms. In the curriculum we have a variety of different area—academic areas of focus. Frankly, how we support our incoming international students—our international students—every student is not going to study abroad, but our campuses are globally diverse environments where our students from all backgrounds exist and our international students and how they acclimate to U.S. culture, how we prepare them to engage with students from a variety of different backgrounds, Americans from a variety of different backgrounds. That’s also part of the global learning that happens. And so when we take a step back and just, again, think about why is it that we invest in global education and global learning, it’s because we know the benefits of it. We are 5 percent of the world’s population, and I think if anything in the last two years, sort of two and a half, three years, we—it is very clear and currently as well is very clear how incredibly interconnected we are as a globe, even as their call—you hear the pundits and otherwise say, like, oh, well, globalization is dead, and so on and so forth. It was, like, regardless of what those conversations are, we know that as a world we are all reliant on each other, and the world that the students, particularly the younger students, if you will—younger age college students—are going to inherit is going to be that much more interconnected. And so for us, as a country, the United States, to be able to take on the challenges and the opportunities that the twenty-first century puts before us and to be successful in taking on the—both challenges and opportunities that has to be a global approach because we’re not on this globe by ourselves, and for our future leaders to be prepared to do that it’s incredibly important for them to appreciate the importance of global learning and global education, have equitable access to a variety of those opportunities. And, frankly, we are shooting ourselves in the foot if we only allow our—maybe we say not intentionally but structurally the situation is such that only a certain population of students has access, real access, to these kind of learning opportunities. And so, I think, as higher education institutions we have to ask ourselves, what does that mean, yes, for the International Education Office, but also what does that mean for our academics in the classroom? What does that mean for our senior administrators who are deciding where to invest funds and otherwise of an institution? What does it mean for our chief diversity officers, for our VP of student affairs, and otherwise, who also were tasked with ensuring equitable access to a variety of opportunities that are available on campus? And so, when we think about these questions at Diversity Abroad, I think being in association and being able to work with the three hundred-plus institutions that we do on these topics, we really do look at it holistically. What does that mean—global education, equitable access, and education abroad? Global learning at home, what happens in and outside the classroom domestically? Support for our international students? But also how are we also ensuring that the professionals—faculty, staff, and otherwise who are engaged in global educational opportunities or experiences in and outside the classroom—that those faculty members and those staff are reflective of the rich diversity that our students embody? CASA: Thank you. Thank you for that introduction. Now let’s open it up to questions. As a reminder, please click the raise hand icon on your screen to request to ask a question. On an iPad or Tablet, click the more button to access the raise hand feature. When you are called upon, accept the unmute prompt and please state your name and affiliation, followed by your question. You may also submit a written question via the Q&A icon or vote for other questions you would like to hear answered in your Zoom window at any time. We do have a raised hand from Basilio Monteiro, associate dean and associate professor of mass communication at St. John’s University. Basilio? (No response.) You could accept the unmute prompt. Q: Thank you very much, Mr. Gordon, for your introductory remarks. You know, this internationalization of education—oftentimes what happens is I find that students go and stay within the one small bubble instead of mixing up with other students from the country where they go to. That interaction is not there, and oftentimes, it’s not even promoted to go. They will go—they go as tourists. They don’t go as learners to learn, and that seems to be the kind of trend, so I find. And I talk to the students. They’ll say, OK, oh, I went here. I went there. I saw this and I saw that, and that’s it. So that is—what is your overall national experience at this point on this particular context? GORDON: Yeah. Thank you for that comment, and you’re right. I think that as the field of international education we have not been as intentional as we could be in ensuring that once we’ve put in the investment dollars, human capital, and otherwise that helps get students overseas that we’re really creating kind of an environment where our students are going to have the kind of experiences that they come back and they really have been able to develop deeper empathy, embracing difference, and so on and so forth. We think about it here in the U.S., right. The students at our campus, a lot of them are having a good time but they’re still learning. They’re still having very, in some cases—I hate to overuse the word transformative, but experiences that are shaping who they are becoming as people. That doesn’t have to change when our students go abroad, and so whether we’re talking about programs that are led directly by faculty, I’m thinking about how are we intentionally finding opportunities for our students to engage in the host community; what are opportunities of reciprocity when they’re in country in a certain location so that our students don’t just have a stamp on their passport but they’d have the kind of experience that is changing how they view themselves, how they view the world, and, frankly, how they view both the challenges and the opportunities that lie before all of us. What is incumbent on, I think, institutions as well as the organizations, institutions that work with a lot of third party organizations to help facilitate study abroad, it’s incumbent on those organizations as well to say, we know our students want to have a good time. They’re going to have a good time. That’s excellent. We want that. But we also—the core reason why our students are engaging in these opportunities needs to be academic, self-development, and otherwise. The fun is going to happen, but that other piece needs to be there because if it’s not then, frankly, we become glorified travel agents, taking students from point A to point B. I don’t think if you asked anyone in international education what their role is that we would say that’s what our role is because it’s not. But we need to be intentional about ensuring that the kind of outcomes that we want, that we say our students can gain—we’ve built the structure to be able to—for our students to be able to achieve those outcomes. Thank you for that question. CASA: Our next question comes from Beverly Lindsay from the University of California system. Q: Thanks to both of you for your introductory comments, Maria and Andrew, for your statement. As a former member of NAFSA and a number of other professional organizations, I actually have several questions, but I will limit them. One is, as you know, throughout higher education, particularly in comprehensive research universities, there is an emphasis on the African diaspora, the Latino diaspora. So many of the undergraduate students tend to go to those countries that are African, the Caribbean, or South America, for example. How do we encourage students, regardless of demographic background, to go anywhere in the world because they would get more experience? For example, when I was the international dean at Hampton we set up a program where the undergraduates could go and do internships at the British parliament, which was really innovative. The second question I would ask you is to what extent do you involve graduate students through your organization? Now, I realize that they’re often focused on their thesis or, in rare cases, we don’t think of study abroad. We think of research opportunities for our doctoral students. But to what extent do you involve students from different levels? Because I know in community colleges there is considerable emphasis now in terms of having the Los Angeles Community College system, the Dade County students in the community colleges, go abroad. So, as I said, I had many but I’ll just focus on those right now. But thank you for your forthcoming answer. GORDON: Yeah. Thank you for that, Beverly. I think when it comes to destination, where our students go, again, unfortunately, I think, that our field has an opportunity to go in a different direction as far as a narrative about certain places. I think, unfortunately, in the U.S., when we think of Africa, when we think of the Global South as a whole, it’s often positioned through the lens of deficit of the people, of the governments, health care systems, and so on and so forth. And, without question, there’s work to be done. But there’s a lot that’s happening of innovation in—I mean, Africa, the continent, I mean, obviously, the different countries. Same thing in Latin America. But if we position these locations as you go here to help, you go here almost in a savior type mentality, whereas if we position locations like Europe and Australia and otherwise, like, well, you go here, this is where you’re going to learn, this is where you go on internships and this is where you’re going to prepare yourself professionally, really, seems like amplifying this narrative of parts of the world are important for learning, growth, innovation. Other parts of the world are more focused on philanthropy, giving, and so on and so forth. And I think that puts us, frankly, as a nation in peril. There was a recent survey that came out—I want to say it was in the last couple weeks—and it—they surveyed youth in Africa. I can’t remember which countries. But it asked—the question was who has a more positive impact on your country, China or the U.S., or maybe it was a variety of countries. But China eked out ahead the U.S. So the continent with the youngest population in the world, and we know what that means for the future, of future work and otherwise, views of different countries having a positive impact. We don’t see a lot of study abroad programs on the African continent, for example, or Latin America that are focused on innovation and technology. I can—I can go on and on. And so I think we have to take a step back as a field of international education—I think, higher education as a whole—and push back against narratives of how certain regions of the world, certain countries, are viewed so that our students are encouraged to want to engage anywhere in the world as they’re looking to deepen their understanding, grow interpersonally, be that much better positioned for their post-degree careers, and so on and so forth. So that—I think that onus is on us as institutions, as organizations, to increase that perspective. But I also think that that also has an aspect to deal with incoming international students as well. With the incoming international students how are we helping them have opportunity to tell more their story about the countries they come from, the contributions their countries make to the U.S., to other parts of the world, and so on and so forth. As to the other question as far as how we engage with graduate students, we were—I would say primarily graduate students who are working in higher education programs, international education programs, that are interested specifically in this work will engage with Diversity Abroad in a variety of ways, either participating in one of the communities of practice that we have, coming to our annual conference, Global Inclusion, in a kind of variety of different ways from that perspective. As far as specifically looking at mobility-based programs for graduate students, that’s not our focus at this time. CASA: Our next question comes from Hemchand Gossai, associate dean of humanities and social sciences at Northern Virginia Community College. Q: Maria and Andrew, thank you very much for your comments and also for providing this opportunity. My institution is very large with a multi-campus sort of setting with seventy-five thousand students. It’s almost ubiquitous among institutions of higher education, particularly in their admissions process, to extol the importance of how many countries are represented at the college or university, and that’s a great thing. We have that as well, and we have a large contingent of international students. One of the things that has struck me and that you have sort of alluded to, Andrew, has to do with the role of our international students as they arrive on our campuses, and I’m wondering if you can reflect a little bit about how best our large contingent of international students might not only be integrated but might actually interact and shape our local community of first-generation students, of students of color, and so on. If you would, I’d appreciate it. Thanks. GORDON: Yeah. Excellent, excellent question. Let me start off by saying, for us, when we think of international students—well, not when we think of international students—but the process of the experience that our international students have operationally, if you will, in many ways it’s the flip of our students going abroad. We had a question earlier about how do we better ensure our domestic students are integrating once they’re in country. We’re just flipping that and saying that for our international students. So what we’re saying is that we want the same for both. We don’t want our international students to be seen as, hey, this is a revenue source. You’re here on campus. Now we’re done. No. We want them to be successful, and our international students embody the same identities that our domestic students do. They’re students of color. They’re first-gen, disabilities, come from different religious backgrounds, LGBTQI. They embody all these same identities that we’re trying to support with our domestic students and we want to do the same thing for international students. So and thinking of what that means is really asking the question is what does holistic support look like for our international students. Too often, our international students once they get on campus, they’re seen as that international student. I mean, simply, that’s their passport. That’s where you’re actually born. They need the same support, and then some additional at times, as our domestic students. Are we asking them, what contributions do you want in the classroom? Are we appreciating that our international students are coming from a different perspective during certain discussions and are we giving them space to be able to share those perspectives and honor the fact that it comes from a different perspective but that’s still important? Because that’s part of global learning that our domestic students benefit from as well when you have those rich discussions in the classroom, when you have a variety of different perspectives that are being shared, and we think about being able to hear that, analyze what’s being said, and develop your own sense of, OK, this is my thought on this topic or otherwise. But when we just have a conversation, for example, in the classroom that’s focused on domestic, even though we have a wide or very diverse population of students that—of international students in our classroom we’re really missing an opportunity to both engage with the international students, help them have a deeper sense of belonging on our campus and, frankly, for our domestic students and all students to be to be able to learn that much more so. The other part of the question I mentioned, and kind of tying back to what I mentioned a second ago of how our international students embody so much of that—so many of the identities of our domestic students, you know, when we have programs for first-generation college students are we just thinking about our domestic first-generation college students? Our international students can be the same way. When we think about our disability services, when we think about programs that are maybe related to race in ways, are we thinking intentionally about that? Yes, an African American and an international student from Africa who’s from Africa and who’s Black and has grown up in Africa their entire life very well are—some shared experiences, but very different. Are we thinking about opportunities for learning and growth from that way? So as I would say it’s the intentionality in the programming and the intentionality in thinking of what is our role in—and, obviously, helping our students be successful, but particularly from an equitable access to global education, we have all the ingredients to the salad, if you will. What’s our role in making sure that this comes together and this works in a way that serves our students, our domestic, our international students—frankly, serves the institution. And so there’s broader goals that we have in higher education around learning but also preparing a generation of citizens that are thoughtful not just about home but thoughtful about the relationship between home and abroad and how our world is broadly interconnected and reliant on each other. CASA: Thank you. Our next question comes from Mojúbàolú Olufúnké Okome, associate professor in the department of political science in Brooklyn College. Q: Good evening. I’m calling from Nigeria now. And I’m a professor, not associate. I was wondering if there is a two-way stream in terms of the way in which international education is conceived of thinking about students coming from foreign countries as exchange students, and I’m particularly interested in this from an African perspective. It’s unbelievably difficult for many African students to come to the U.S. as exchange students. They face formidable visa barriers, and for many of them that are from socioeconomic backgrounds where they are not flush with money it is actually an impossibility. So, I mean, is there any kind of thinking about how skewed the pool is that the educational institutions in the U.S. is joined from, given all the constraints that are put in the way of students from the Global South, especially Africa— GORDON: Yeah. Q: —who want to just come to the U.S. just like our students go to those places? GORDON: Yeah. Yeah. No. Wonderful, wonderful question, and I’d kind of bifurcate my answers. I think with respect to visas, I think that’s a question—offices handle that at State and I think there has to be a broader question of are we creating enough opportunities for students or making it easy enough for students or talented students that want to come take advantage of the rich diversity and the academic opportunities, some professional opportunities that exist in the U.S. Are we making it easy enough for those students to come to our shores? And I think that’s a question that—State has to continue to be evaluated from that aspect. I’m not by any means an expert with visas, so I’m going to—I’m going to stay in my lane to an extent. But I think, broadly speaking, is we do—I think as a nation have welcomed and want to continue to welcome talented folks from all over the world to be able to come. And then I think the second part of the question, what’s the role of institutions, I think similar to our—to domestic students, we know who our students are. We know what the challenges they have and being able to access opportunities that we have. And so we say—going back to what I mentioned earlier, we say we know what these—we know the benefits of these kind of opportunities. We’re the gatekeepers to that. We know who our students are, and we know the challenges they have and this includes international students that are interested in coming, be it exchange or otherwise. How do we in higher education create more opportunities for talented students to be able to take advantage of these opportunities that we’re very clear the benefits to them? And so from an exchange standpoint, looking and saying are we building exchanges—do we have the infrastructure, are we investing in the infrastructure so that we can have more exchanges with the Global South? Because many times exchanges, while not always cost neutral, is usually much more cost neutral than a paid study abroad or otherwise. So are we creating those kind of opportunities? Again, realizing that that benefits the student—the international student, the domestic student. It benefits our campus community and our broader community as a whole when our international students are out and engaging with the broader community around the universities and otherwise. So are we investing in that? And then when it comes to fully matriculated students, whether at the undergraduate, graduate, or doctorate level, are we doing enough? Is there more we should be doing to ensure that if funding is a challenge that the funding is—funding schemes that are available to better create opportunities for students to be able to come, and then also like we’ve mentioned in the last question is our campus infrastructure—our campus set up in such that our international students feel like they belong, the campus is thinking about them, and this is a place where they want to, frankly, stay and contribute their knowledge or insights, their experience, and otherwise, which, again, benefits them, benefits the campus, and benefits the community and the nation as a whole. Q: Next we have a comment from Pamela Waldron-Moore, a professor at Xavier University of Louisiana. You have touched on this topic but you might want to go a little deeper. She writes, as a professor at Xavier University of Louisiana, I know that this is a helpful conversation. One area of global education that does not seem to have had much exposure is the opportunity for national institutions to provide exchange opportunities that allow low-income students to appreciate diverse education. For example, students can learn much from institutions located in naturally global environments—New York, DC, California, et cetera. Many U.S. institutions are teeming with international students who are happy to interact with a wider body of learners. GORDON: Yeah. I’ll just comment on that briefly, and I know Xavier does great work with our national exchange as well as with international. But your point is right on. When we think of the globally diverse cities that exist in the U.S., they’re learning labs. I’m from the Bay Area. I like going to San Francisco. I go to places in Oakland and otherwise. These are learning opportunities. I think when you think of the flow of migration to certain areas within the country, there’s so much to learn there for our domestic students as well as for our international students. And so when we think of global learning holistically, as much as—I started Diversity Abroad based on study abroad. I’m a fan of study abroad, absolutely. But I think when we think about global learning, we have to get—mobility from the standpoint of getting on a plane, crossing an ocean, and using your passport is not the only way. And when we think about the institutions, where our institutions exist, what does the community look like? How globally diverse is our local community? Are there opportunities for us, thinking of co-curricular activities, to better engage with our local communities as well, because part of the broader goal that we talked about, the benefits of global learning, those benefits can be gained—different benefits, different places, in different ways, but can be gained locally but also can be gained abroad. So, an excellent point. CASA: Again, as a reminder, please click the raise hand icon on your screen if you would like to ask a question, or write it in via the Q&A icon. Andrew, can you talk a little bit about the specific activities that Diversity Abroad engages in as an organization? GORDON: Yeah. Absolutely. Happy to. So Diversity Abroad founded in 2006. We’re a member-based consortium, around three hundred and fifty colleges and universities. As I mentioned, it ranges from small liberal arts to community colleges, Ivies to R-1s, and, really, we—our focus is looking at diversity, equity, and inclusion within internationalization and global education. And so what does that mean? We look at four key areas of our work. It’s education abroad, international students, global learning at home, and then career and organizational advancement, and we—the actual practices of the work that we do focuses heavy on learning and development. So everything from our annual conference, Global Inclusion, to our DEI certificate for folks who are engaged in global education or are interested in global education, as well as a leadership certificate for student leaders who want to embed DEI, global, into their leadership. We publish a set of good practices called the Global Equity Inclusion Guidelines, it’s a set of policy practices for embedding DEI into a campus’s global education operation, and then there’s a ton of thought leadership that we do, collaboration with organizations. We have a phenomenal team that is always working to continue to push this conversation forward, and maybe more than moving the conversation forward, to push forward resources, learning opportunities, and otherwise to ensure that, frankly, as a field a decade from now we’re not having this same conversation but that we’ve made some real tangible progress in going forward. So, much harder to execute on a daily and weekly basis than to kind of go over in a couple of seconds. But I’m really proud of the work that we’re doing and always interested in collaborating with professionals and institutions that share—frankly, share our vision of equitable access to global educational opportunities. CASA: Great. Our next question comes from Krishna Garza-Baker from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She’s assistant director of experiential learning. Q: Hello, Maria and Andrew. Thank you so much for this conversation. I’m actually a current member of Diversity Abroad and absolutely love all their resources. I’m there on a daily basis. So I would like to reflect back to the idea on promoting the benefits of global learning. As much as I promote the benefits of global programs to my students—I work specifically with business students at the Alvarez College of Business—what are some ways in which you have seen or experienced navigating the topic of the financial investment into educational experience and what are some other barriers to global learning that you have seen for domestic students? GORDON: Krishna, thank you for that comment and happy to have you as part of the Diversity Abroad community. So finance is interesting. Without question, finances can be a barrier to students engaging in global educational opportunities, particularly mobility-based ones. What’s interesting, though, is that at times when you ask a student, are you interested in studying abroad, for example? They say, no, I can’t afford it. And I was, like, well, do you know how much it costs? Well, I’m not actually sure. Are you sure how your financial aid works and how your financial aid can support? It was, like, no, I’m not actually sure. So you have students sometimes that see study abroad and there’s an interest, but for a variety of other reasons, maybe they’re becoming a little bit more hesitant, and finance is an easy one to go to say, oh, I can’t afford it. And so I think it’s important for, one, us to understand, from a financial standpoint, A, is the students—can they really not afford it? How are we addressing that? Or is this a question of, I’m interested and I’m on the fence and so on and so forth and I’m just kind of saying financial. I think for the aspect of students not being able to afford it, as an institution, again, we have to go back and say what’s the value of global educational opportunities. We know that students who are statistically—we’re saying that students who study abroad graduate sooner, graduate with higher GPAs as well. So that is hitting part of a broader goal that we have of higher education about persistence and completion. And so as an institution are we investing in the kind of activities like global education opportunities that are supporting the broader goals that we have as an institution around persistence and completion, and that is something that’s strategically at institutions that—are questions we have to ask ourselves. We say, you know, yes, global, you know, the importance of all these opportunities to study abroad and so on and so forth. Are we investing in it in a way that any of our students that are interested finance is not going to be the barrier that pushes them back? Now, I think, on the other aspect of it with respect to finance and being able to talk with students and their families, students and their families who are from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. They’re on campus, and they’re on campus, in a way, because they’ve seen being a student at your campus as an investment, something that is valuable enough to either, personal finances—going out and fundraising in a variety of different ways because they see the value in that. The question, I think, that we have as—in higher education and particularly in international education are we positioning global education as this is an investment? And this goes back to a comment that was made a little bit earlier about, hey, you know what, we’re sending these students abroad. They’re not really engaging with the populations. It’s kind of like it’s just vacation. OK. Well, if I’m a serious student and I’m concerned about finances, and I have to make choices about what I invest in, if study abroad is positioned as, you know, go have fun abroad I’ll say, well, listen, I’ll go on vacation at another point in my life. I’m focused on getting in school, doing the kind of things that’s going to position me to be able to thrive, support family, and otherwise. So in education abroad and study abroad, the onus is on us to make sure that the way we’re talking about these opportunities, the way that opportunities are actually taking place, is such that a student that has to make that decision looks at study abroad or other global opportunities and says, you know what, this is where I want to invest my time, my resources, and otherwise because this is something that’s going to help me continue to grow with the broader goals that I have. CASA: Our next question comes from Maggie Mahoney, director of global engagement at the University of Houston. Q: Good afternoon, Maria and Andrew. Nice to talk with you. Hello from Houston, Texas. Andrew, my question is about our teams, because we want to bring the best of our teams to our students. We know that burnout is an ongoing issue. We’ve had the pandemic. We’ve had the murder of George Floyd that kind of shifted things even more for the bigger focus of DEI and that has become exhausting, not to mention in Texas we face our own Texas state issues and now inflation changing. So there’s a lot of stress on our teams, and in institutions of higher ed we should have offices that mirror the diversity of our students. But we don’t always have that. Do you have any recommendations for our diverse staff team members and their self care in the face of this burnout and too often being turned to in the support of DEI efforts whenever we should all be doing the work? And do you have any recommendations for team leaders on how to continue doing our work while supporting our diverse team members, as we know they’re overwhelmed? GORDON: Yeah. Thank you for that comment. And that’s—I think a very important point is that we can’t ignore—when we think of—we think of some of the organizations that we’ve looked AT and say, hey, these are great companies or great organizations that I’ll support. The folks who are at the table many times come from incredibly diverse backgrounds, and in international education if we want the work that we do to have the kind of impact, we want to make sure that we’re drawing the best and brightest, most diverse folks that say, hey, higher education, international education, specifically, this is a place where I want to go work. Our faculty members who may potentially be leading programs abroad, there’s a lot that our faculty members can be doing over the summer when we say, you know what, I want to lead a study abroad program because this is—not only the impact this could have on students, but I know I’m going to be supported by the international office and otherwise as I’m going abroad. So what I would say is a couple of things. One is from a team leader perspective, and I think what you pointed out being something that is really a very salient topic. You know, DEI work cannot fall on folks of color or folks who we look at and say, OK, well, you represent XYZ identity so, yes, diversity worked for you. All that does, as stated, is it leads to burnout and it doesn’t lead to us moving the needle. So, organizationally, are the practices or the policies in place. So, operationally, DEI is just embedded into what we do and regardless of what your role is, the DEI tasks that are there, is there for you to do. So regardless of what your background is, whatever the DEI tasks are connected to your role, those are there for you to be able to do. And so that’d be one aspect of it, really looking operationally from that perspective. But then another question is asking ourselves whether it’s at the department level within an office, like a global education office or whatever it may be, are we building a climate of belonging. Are we building a climate where our staff that come from historically marginalized backgrounds feel like, hey, we can come—we can come here. We can be ourselves. When we’re having challenges we’re being supported and otherwise because, again, then we’re able to be able to do the work that’s needed to increase participation in global educational opportunities, being able to work with the faculty members to think through how do we better embed global themes into the curriculum, being able to support our international students. Which is saying none of this happens automatically. It is run by people, on people power, and we’ve got to take care of our people. If we don’t take care of our people, all the other things that we want to do, ultimately, we won’t be as successful as we’d like. CASA: We have a question now from Professor Waldron-Moore from Xavier. She says—she asks, how can we generate interest in study abroad from the classroom? Shouldn’t we address seriously ways to motivate students to learn more about diversity in order to raise their awareness about higher education? We need to get the excitement about other countries and people going before we grow an interest in study abroad or a study exchange. GORDON: Yeah. So that’s—I would say it’s not an either/or but I would say they very much work in tandem. So the more—and to the point, the more that we—the more that global themes are presented to our students, the more interest that will start to generate with our students. If you have a population of students that from the time they set foot on campus they know they’re going to study abroad and so and so forth, that’s great. We want those students. But you have another population of students who maybe that’s not the case, and so how are we embedding global themes into the curriculum regardless of what our fields may be? What are—are we finding opportunities to embed global themes into the curriculum so that, one, we’re helping to promote the idea of there’s a lot to learn outside of the shores of the U.S. as well, but, two, for our students—and every student’s not going to study abroad. For our students who aren’t going abroad are we finding opportunities to ensure that they still have access to global learning themes within the classroom. And so they very much play off each other, and I will say that now much more so for the students who, ultimately, decide not to participate in a study abroad or a formal study abroad program it’s an opportunity for them to still get access to global learning opportunities. But I will say—one other thing I want to bring up and I started bringing this up in my earlier comments, I think when we’re thinking about global education and diversity, equity, and inclusion, definitely thinking of it through, say, two lenses. One is the lens of what we’ve primarily been talking about of how are we supporting our historically marginalized students, supporting our staff and our faculty, our people, as they’re engaged in global education, and that many times, again, are folks in historically marginalized populations. But when we think about learning global DEI competencies, all of our students need to access that. DEI is not just populations to support or competencies to be learned—to learn. So inside the classroom, when they’re participating in study abroad or otherwise, are we thinking through how we position our students to learn the kind of competencies that can position them to be better citizens, to be better—that much more thriving in their professional careers and otherwise. And, again, that takes place—many times that takes place in the classroom. CASA: Our next question is also written and comes from Wendy Kuran, associate vice president for development and alumni engagement at Duke Kunshan University. Actually, she has two questions. The first is, following up on the earlier question and Andrew’s great answer, is the career and self-development value proposition of study abroad clear to diverse students? Is there credible, accessible research about the value? What could we, at universities, including students, do to help make that case in new ways more effectively? And the second shorter question, do you ever work in secondary education intercultural exchange programs and, if not, are those in your ecosystems? Are there those in your ecosystems who do? GORDON: Yeah. So I’ll start with the second question first. We work with some secondary institutions and organizations that support secondary students at that level. I would not say that that has been the traditional group of professionals or organizations or institutions that have come to us. But we are seeing some growing traction there. So I’m always interested in connecting with folks who have interest with that. With respect to career, I would say there are definitely institutions who have been at the forefront of centering the connection between global education and career, and I think as the field of global education that’s work that’s improving. But there’s still work to do, I think, particularly for being able to make the case for students who, for a variety of reasons may be hesitant about study abroad. What we find in engaging with students, yes, research is important. Using more factoids are important. Firsthand experiences being important of students who embody similar identities and otherwise that can say, I had this kind of experience. I went from point A to point B to point Z. I know when I’ve had an opportunity to go to campuses and speak and otherwise telling a little bit about my own personal trajectory from doing accounting consulting to becoming an entrepreneur and otherwise and how study abroad impacted that, that’s one of the things that attract students is really wanting to understand, OK, you look like me. You had a similar experience. How did you do that? So which is to say particularly with that—the part of your question asking about historically marginalized student populations, are we telling the stories of success? Are we telling the stories of how our students from historically marginalized backgrounds have been able to leverage global opportunities to advance in their career? For them to be able to say very concretely, I had this experience and then I’m working in this job and this is how this experience helped me and so on so forth. Again, that is intentional work, yes, by our global education offices but also, frankly, in collaboration with our career centers, our offices that are doing career development on campus. How are we working with them to be able to bring them back to connect with the students, the alum, and otherwise to be able to tell those stories, which, again, is part of the broader ecosystem of what does engagement look like to be able to increase participation and the success of students who are interested in study abroad? CASA: Have you been able to develop dedicated assessment and evaluation tools for success or gauging the success or the results of study abroad programs? GORDON: So we, ourselves, have not. There are some tools out there and some studies that are out there. Gosh, I’m trying to think of his name right now at the University of Georgia. There was a study in the early kind of 2000s called the Glossary Study. It was just recently built—they built upon that with a new study that showed the connection between academic success. I wouldn’t say that for me, I’m familiar with a survey or research that goes as deep on the career success aspect of it. But I know there are some resources out there that talk deeper about the connection between career development and—study abroad and career development. CASA: And do you have thoughts on how global education and study abroad contribute to U.S. foreign policy creation and international relations? GORDON: Yeah. Well, in part, I mean, I think there’s an aspect of just civics that’s connected to every time you get on a plane, you travel, and you flash that green—I always say green—that blue passport, why is that so easy? Because even being able to understand the ability that you have to travel to the vast majority of the world without having a visa, without—and, frankly, other countries aren’t able to do that. So almost, certainly, encourage deeper appreciation for the privilege that we have as U.S. citizens, being able to travel as freely as we do for most of the world, but also being able to engage, I think, for students of—U.S. students to be able to engage in other populations, hear their perspective. You know, sometimes there’s perspectives that are critical to the U.S. Sometimes there are perspectives that are wildly in love with the U.S., and that’s great. It’s important to hear all of that, to hear how you’re perceived, and then you bring that back home with you. Now you’re thinking about your role as a citizen, what that does to you to be able to understand positionality of the U.S. and the rest of the world and what role that you personally want to take with that. And so I—and I guess I say for myself having a deeper appreciation for the, frankly, benefits of being a U.S. citizen by traveling and having had the opportunity to travel as much as I do and interact with folks all over the world. And so I think for all of our populations I think the populations that maybe haven’t been as civically engaged or as deeply civically engaged it creates that many more opportunities to have that appreciation for. CASA: Yes. GORDON: And then, frankly, just people-to-people. I would just say—this is the last thing I’ll say. It’s funny, I mean—I mean, people-to-people exchanges, what they say it’s hard to hate someone you know. (Laughs.) I mean, it’s true. I mean, and I think that it’s easy to turn on the news and hear XYZ about any number of people and locations in the world. I think when you sit down you break bread and you have coffee, whatever it may be, with folks from other parts of the world it does develop, I think, a deeper appreciation, really helping push us down that road of embracing difference and, I think, developing a deeper empathy, which we could all use more of that. CASA: Great. Well, we’ve come to the end of our time and, Andrew, thank you so much for sharing your insights with us, and to all of you for your questions and comments. You can follow Diversity Abroad on Twitter at @DiversityAbroad. You will be receiving an invitation to our next Higher Education webinar under separate cover. In the meantime, I encourage you to follow at @CFR_Academic on Twitter and visit CFR.org, ForeignAffairs.com, and ThinkGlobalHealth.org for research and analysis on global issues. I hope you’re all having a great summer, and thank you again for joining us today. We look forward to your continued participation in the Higher Education Webinar Series. 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  • Education
    2022 College and University Educators Workshop
    The 2022 College and University Educators Workshop is part of the CFR Academic initiative. The goal of the Educators Workshop is to find new ways for professors to encourage their students to learn a…
  • Education
    Higher Education Webinar: The Role of HBCUs in the United States
    Play
    Tony Allen, president of Delaware State University, leads a conversation on the role of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the United States. FASKIANOS: Welcome to CFR’s Higher Education Webinar. I am Irina Faskianos, vice president of the National Program and Outreach here at CFR. Today’s discussion is on the record, and the video and transcript will be available on our website, CFR.org/academic. As always, CFR takes no institutional positions on matters of policy. We are delighted to have Tony Allen with us today to talk about the role of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the United States. Dr. Allen is president of Delaware State University. Previously, he served as the university’s executive vice president and provost. In 2021, Dr. Allen was appointed by President Biden to chair the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. And he also served as CEO of Biden’s Presidential Inaugural Committee. Prior to his time at Delaware State University, he worked at the Bank of America for thirteen years, where he developed and led the Corporate Reputation Group. And he is the founding president of the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League, co-founder of Public Allies Delaware, and chair emeritus of the National Urban Fellows. So, Tony, thank you very much for being with us today. I want to just turn it over to you to talk about the role of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in higher education in the United States historically and today. ALLEN: Thank you for having me. It’s a real pleasure to be with all of you, certainly with the Council on Foreign Relations. I just want to start—personally, I am a first-generation college student, and my mother was a teenage mom and my father never finished the eleventh grade. So being able to be in this role means a lot to me from a proximity standpoint, and really being able to guide one of the nation’s leading HBCUs is really the professional dream of my life. So I take this very personally, in addition to trying to run a great institution. With respect to Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the country, we are almost at 175 years in existence. I don’t think I need to tell anybody on the phone that we were started for some very specific reasons as it related to higher education access for African American students, but we have really become a powerhouse, a force not only in the African American community but in the broader citizenry at large. There are only 3 percent of Historically Black—excuse me, there are three thousand colleges and universities in the country; only 3 percent are historically Black colleges. Only 3 percent. But even today, we still produce 20 percent of all Black graduates. So just think about that for a moment, the power of our return on investment across many, many disciplines. You may have heard these numbers, but 80 percent of Black judges and lawyers start out in an HBCU. More than 50 percent of all Black doctors started at an HBCU. Forty percent of Black congressmen today started at an HBCU. And the number-one driver for lower-income African American people to get into the American middle class today is still their attendance at a Historically Black College or University. So the real power and frame of our institutions are significant, but our voices over the years have been quieter. We don’t have the same kinds of profile. A lot of it has to do with the fact that many of us are still low-resource institutions, even though we’re providing great value to the students that come here. Since the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and so many others during that summer of 2020, we’ve actually seen our profile grow significantly. We’ve tried to take advantage of that to tell the HBCU story in a much richer way than we had been able to do in the past, and we think that’s had some significant merit. I can tell you when we think about COVID-19 we say that one pandemic—COVID-19 itself—exposed another, which is continuing: race relations in America. And when I thought about it this time around—we’ve had these kinds of experiences as it relates to public safety, interaction with police for a long, long time here—but this felt like the first time that so many folks were watching the same thing. So regardless of where you come from or what you look like, you could not turn your eyes away from some of the tragic incidents we saw in that summer. And I think that has people thinking in a much more deliberate and different way. Couple that with what we’ve seen with respect to the elections that ensued, the political unrest that came after that, we find ourselves in a place where Historically Black Colleges and Universities are becoming a real sign—true sign of opportunity for folks, again regardless of what you look like or where you come from, that are otherwise underserved or locked out of the education system. There are 101 of them. Some of you will know what I’d say are the usual suspects: the Howard Universities of the world, the Morehouse, the Spelman, North Carolina A&T, FAMU. But there are 101 across the country. We spend our time not only providing the type of quality education that our students deserve, but also being engines of social justice and change, and research for that matter. So our ability to look through a lens with respect to research, regardless of discipline, is unique in the space because we’re able to come from a place where we are trying to understand the forces and phenomena of the world, and often how those forces and phenomena disproportionately affect people who don’t have as much as others. We take great pride in that as well. I also would like to talk a little bit about the communities we find ourselves in. You usually find an HBCU adjacent to or very much in a low-resource community. What that means for that community is that they are an economic engine for that community. The 101 HBCUs at last look contributed more than $14 billion collectively to the gross domestic product in the country. So we’re not just educational institutions, but real forces of economic opportunity and growth as well. I like to say I think we are the best return on value in the higher-education landscape because of who we prepare. So many of our students are first-generation college students like me. More than three-quarters of them are Pell Grant-eligible, which I think you know is a low-income standard. And we are changing the trajectory of their lives and their family’s lives. So being able to spend time thinking through what that means not only as it relates to opening economic doors of opportunity for them, but also giving them this notion that it’s not simply enough to graduate, get a great job; you also have to give back as you’ve been given, too, which is a theme I’d say across the HBCU landscape. I think it’s why you find so many African American leaders in this country across disciplines, as I mentioned, having gotten their start at an HBCU, because there is this ethic of service that really threads the needle across the HBCU landscape. Having said that, you heard my role as chair of the Board of Advisors for the president on HBCUs. That board has been around since 1976, really started under President Carter. And there has been an executive order issued each year to make sure that the White House initiative on HBCUs gets its attention and the board helps serve a role of guidance and oversight. Let me give you a sense of the four priorities we are just beginning to outline in that role. As you know, we just named the full council about two weeks ago, and we are thinking about four things that we really want to focus on. First is infrastructure. At HBCUs there’s a systemic disparity between HBCUs and other similarly situated universities who are predominantly white. That has a lot to do with the fact that we were not always able to, and in some cases still don’t, get equitable funding for our living and learning spaces. So while we’re able to provide the quality education, we want the environment to look like the quality education that our students are receiving. That’s particularly important for any number of reasons, most notably our ability to attract and retain our students over the long term as well as some faculty and staff when you think about the learning spaces as it relates to laboratory and research. Being able to have first-class operations there really sends a message about our—how serious we are about creating the right environment. Second is the opportunity for us to access more partnerships and, quite frankly, dollars from the federal government by really being able to engage in a thoughtful way with those institutions. Many of those institutions, as you know, provide research grants and other support to many institutions—higher-education institutions throughout the country. We want to make sure that we’re getting our fair share of that as well. Some of you probably know that there are three research classifications put out by Carnegie: research 1, research 2, and research 3. Research 1 is the highest, and there are no HBCUs that have cracked that threshold of research 1. That’s important, as well. As I said, lots of the research we do crosses any number of disciplines, but when you’re thinking about building capacity for the longer term you do want to have a few, I would say, comprehensive research 1 HBCUs. That’s a bit priority, I know, for the president, and certainly has been and will be for the council. And it’s a growing movement that folks are just beginning to talk about in a real thoughtful and focused way. The third is more support for low-resource students. We’ve had some progress, actually, on that score. There have been some increases in Pell. In the president’s budget, in fact, there’s a $2,100 increase. That has a lot of significance for continuing to retain our students. I can tell you on any number of occasions the number-one factor, particularly for low-resource students, is their ability to continue to pay. And some of that is significantly reduced from a burden perspective by scholarships and the like, but oftentimes even those small dollars—things we might think of as small dollars—are really significant dollars not only to their students, but to their families. So having more opportunities for tuition support in particular is critical. And then the last one is focusing on the smaller HBCUs in our space. So, like I said, you have historically heard of the more notable HBCUs—as I said, Howard University, Morehouse, Spelman, et cetera—but there are a subset of smaller HBCUs that are delivering first-class quality education that need our attention and support. I say that to my HBCU colleagues as much as I do to anybody else. When one of us is uplifted, we all need to figure out a way to uplift everyone else. And that’s important now more than ever because there’s been such an attention on the HBCU community. So I’ve probably talked too much, but—(laughs)—just as an opening salvo just wanted to give you a sense of the scale, the importance, and the ongoing impact of the HBCU community. FASKIANOS: Wonderful. Thank you so much, Tony. That was really terrific. We’re going to go now to all of you for questions and comments. (Gives queuing instructions.) So I’m going to go first to Mojúbàolú Olufúnké Okome. Q: Thank you very much. HBCUs are very important. I’m from Brooklyn College. I teach political science. But you know, and I think they punch way above their weight, but there’s a persistent underfunding of HBCUs. So what will it take for these institutions to be funded well enough so that they can do the good job that they are doing with less stress and more excellence? ALLEN: Great question. Two responses. First, under the Biden administration, since he took office, HBCUs have received about $5.8 billion in additional incremental support. A lot has to do with COVID for sure. And we, like most colleges and universities, were significantly impacted from a revenue standpoint with respect to COVID. But that historic funding is an important first step. I always say it’s a first step, it’s not the only step, because I think to your question relative to sustainability of our institutions it is critical that we have deeper, more significant, and sustained partnerships, I’d say particularly with the federal government. As I said, there are lots of opportunities for us to do good work there. We’ve made some good progress at Delaware State with the USDA, who has increased their funding significantly this year and in years prior. We just completed a memorandum of understanding with USAID last fall and we expect that to have some meritorious results too. We all have relationships with the likes of NIH and NSF, but not—certainly not enough. So really having a sustained effort that folks can goal against. So if you are in a specific department relative to your engagement with HBCUs, we are making that a priority. The president has already done that himself; just our responsibility to make sure that folks are following through. So that’s first order of business. Second, there are some unique partnerships that have emerged, again, in the wake of summer 2020. So there have been a significant onslaught of support for HBCUs. But what I have tried to do, at least from a Delaware State perspective, is create unique opportunities for that funding to not be one time. Case in point, we’ve gotten a couple million dollars from two major banks in the country. And instead of simply being able to use that for ongoing scholarship support or other needs that we have at the university, we built a career pathways program that is really allowing us to access a number of employers who want to engage with HBCUs but just don’t know how. And that is creating a new pipeline. Not only is it going to help us with respect to placing our students, we actually think it’s a significant benefit to the companies themselves in both the cases. And one was Bank of America and one was JPMorgan Chase. Their funding has actually been catalytic in encouraging more corporate partners to take a look at HBCUs. And we think that is really, really important. FASKIANOS: Great. Next, written question from Robert Ford, who’s retired from Southern University, Dillard, FVSU and Texas Southern University. And he went to Southern University Baton Rouge. He didn’t hear anything about international development, especially Africa. Does your university have an international footprint? And does the HBCU White House initiative have an international program initiative? What progress can be cited? ALLEN: Yeah, before I answer that question, I just want to shoutout every HBCU you mentioned. They’re all terrific—Southern, Dillard, I think you said Fort Valley State, and Texas Southern University. Incredible HBCUs in their own way. With respect to my institution here at Delaware State, we actually have a Center for Global Africa. We started that Center four years ago now, run by a professor named Ezrah Aharone. And the idea is for us to push much of our curriculum and study to not only the African continent, but the African diaspora. So we see there are lots of opportunities for that to emerge. We’ve created some significant partnerships with the African Union and the like on that score. And I can tell you there are—I’m just mentioning the institutions that we’re more close to, but there are a number of HBCUs that are doing similar situations on the continent and in the diaspora. Most notably is Morgan State University led by President David Wilson. And I think, as we continue to gain profile and momentum, I think you’ll see us internationally across the world in a much more clear and concerted effort. At Delaware State we actually have been on mainland China for seven years, having exported three programs there. One in accounting, one in physics, and one in sports management. And the interesting thing about that, in each of those programs, three different universities, 98 percent of those students are first-generation college students. So we have stayed true to our mission as we’ve gone international. We have some similar programs in Jamaica and Costa Rica as well. So we’re building capacity to make sure that we can take the HBCU experience across the continent. FASKIANOS: Thank you. I’m going to go next to Susan King, who has raised her hand. Q: Let me just ask you—I’m at UNC, so I have a great interest in Howard and the new center at Howard that Nikole Hannah-Jones is doing, partly because she’s not coming with us. How will that benefit all the HBCUs, do you think? ALLEN: That’s so funny. Her team has reached out to me, I think it was just last week, to talk about the Center for Journalism and how she wants to extend opportunities for aspiring Black journalists in particular at HBCUs, but also wants to help tell the HBCU story in a much more comprehensive way. So I can’t wait to spend time with her, and hopefully leverage her tremendous talent in doing that. I have said on many occasions, HBCUs have a great story, but we do not have enough storytellers. So being able to demystify what it has been that has really built a leadership talent pipeline, and the economic opportunity pipeline, for so many low-resource folks who are now leaders in our country, is a story that deserves its time in the sun. And we as presidents, my colleagues and I, have to be much more deliberate about that in our ongoing work. I’m hoping that the board of advisors and things like Professor Jones’ Center, gives us the kind of elevation we need so we can have other partners, like the Council on Foreign Relations, help us sustain that moment where we find ourselves. FASKIANOS: Wonderful. And I’m going to take the prerogative of the moderator. I mean, we here at CFR are very much committed to diversity and looking at the pipeline for—into the foreign policy track. So what are the things that you’re doing, that HBCUs are doing? And what could we be doing at CFR to help the next generation of leaders, graduates from HBCUs, get into diplomacy and State Department and just into this field? ALLEN: So, great, thank you for making that point. Here’s what I would say—and this is not to you, but just to the broader community. First job is to show up. I have been—particularly in the corporate side, I find myself in a lot of corporate circles where CEOs are always saying, hey, we wish we could find more Black talent. We just can’t find them. And normally what I say is, you’re not looking hard enough. As I said, we’re producing over three hundred thousand Black graduates every year. And that’s just HBCUs. I haven’t talked about historically Black Greek letter fraternities and sororities. I have not talked about special associations that find themselves in respective disciplines. We are out here. And in the case of the Council in particular, and my students don’t often think first about international development or diplomacy. And the way to get to have that sense is to be in conversation, regular conversations, with organizations like yours. A great example is we were able to bring the director of USAID, as I said to sign the MOU last fall. She talked about, first of all the largess of that institution, the number of critical opportunities that she would have across the organization. And you could see, our students just lit up because they didn’t know. That wasn’t their—weren’t their first thoughts. The other thing I’d say is the more we’ve been doing this more and more, particularly at Delaware State but at HBCUs across the country, are creating more international opportunities. Remember, because we have so many first-generation college students, oftentimes that means those students are first-generation in many things. So they might not have gotten on a plane, might not have had the same dinner conversations that more well-suited families had when they were sitting down for dinner, and that sort of thing. So it behooves us to make sure that we come to them, and we come to them early. The pipeline program that I talked about with you effectively says: If you want to be with Delaware State over the long term, don’t show up in our—in a student’s rising junior or rising senior year, looking for the best in class in our institution. Show up for the moment they come to the institution. So we’re creating a new kind of mentor network and opportunity so those students can learn what’s available to them, the institutions themselves can get a sense of the quality of our students, and they can have the kind of conversations they might not have their first day on the internship or their first day on the job, having not been in that environment or not been connected to that environment previously. FASKIANOS: Thank you. And there’s a nice note from Laurette Foster at Prairie View A&M University. So she’s at the HBCU Faculty Network. Thank you for your institution coming on board with the HBCU Faculty Development Network. And she says, we’re one of their great supporters. And that’s because of Laurette. So we usually go out to their annual conference in October to—in the fall, to present on CFR resources. And, we are looking for more opportunities like that with different networks to sort of connect, and talk, and sort of make connections so that we can start feeding that pipeline. I’m going to go next to Jill Humphries, who’s raised her hand. You can unmute yourself. Thank you. Q: Hello. Thank you. First of all, I want to say, both of my questions—primary questions were asked—(laughs)—about the institutional pipeline for diplomacy and then also the way in which HBCUs are particularly going to be involved in national development. But so I’ll ask this question. I’ve been an education exchange professor several times in several African countries. And when I’ve interfaced with the embassies there, and they talk about opportunities for, in this particular context, African students coming to study in the U.S., and they give their presentations, they’ve always left off HBCUs. And I’ve had to, in fact, remind them—even though I’m teaching at University of Toledo in the African Studies Department. So I am actually interesting in the way in which you’ve, at an institutional level, addressed this issue of whether it’s just benign oversight of when the public affairs officers at our embassies, wherever they are in the world, talk about exchange—educational exchange opportunities—there are so many under the ECA, Department of State’s ECA Bureau—that they include HBCUs. And then the other part of that is, how do you see the particular way in which HBCUs or, more specifically Black thought—Black political thought—may in fact influence our foreign affairs and diplomacy approach, particularly in Africa. Is there a unique, particular perspective that we bring, as African American or Black diaspora, in these arenas? ALLEN: Well, the short answer is, yes. (Laughs.) To your last question. And I don’t limit that to products of HBCUs, necessarily, but I do think Black political thought generally speaking across the globe is important contextually for a couple of reason. One, the way in which Black Americans, in particular, have had to navigate the landscape here now for hundreds of years is an important lesson in perseverance, context, the framework of what I’d say classism, certainly sometimes racism is systemic in its effort, as well as sexism, which I think shows up particularly for Black women regularly as well. The second part about that is as these things are happening across the world, I think our position relative to being able to influence is critical. This is an American point I’m going to make, but just remember—and this is no commercial for the president—but at the time that President Biden was running and the campaign was suffering mightily, there was a Black man in South Carolina, proud HBCU grad, Congressman Jim Clyburn who said: I know Joe Biden, and Joe Biden knows us. And it changed the state of his election. Talks significantly about our power bloc when we operationalize that. We don’t always do that in the American context, but when we do it’s clear and compelling. And I think I won’t go over the events that happened as a result of that. The other point, I think your first question was just about how folks engage with HBCUs more clearly in the international space. It does really come down to two things. One, we think HBCU leaders like myself have to be much more concerted and thoughtful about where we see the opportunities. When you’re in a low-resource institution, a number of things come up that can take you away from building capacity for your institution. So you have to be deliberate about it. It’s one of the reasons I think the advisory board has had many iterations but this, in particular because of the moment, I think will put us in some positions that we have not seen before. You may know that—I believe it’s in every federal department now—but the president is making it a point to have racial equity as a priority, and a person that’s in charge of that. So I think you’re going to see more opportunities there. I have not talked to as many federal government officials ever in my career as I have during this administration, because there’s a clear priority on it. But that is our job, to make sure that we’re telling that story, as I’ve said before. Then I think the unique programs, particularly as it relates to international exchange, we talk a lot about students. I would make sure that we spend equal time trying to export our intellectual capital in our faculty too. They need the opportunities themselves. Many times have the expertise and more often than not, in my case, have unique partnerships in country because they’re—sometimes they’re from a set country. So being able to give them that support I think will have significant long-term results. But we have to be concerted in how we position all of it. FASKIANOS: Thank you. I’m going to take the next written question from Ambassador June Carter Perry, formerly of the State Department, retired, and former diplomat in residence at Howard University, and currently a board member at American Diplomacy Publishers in Chapel Hill. What is your relationship with national universities’ African American programs, such as the one at Princeton directed by Dr. Eddie Glaude? ALLEN: I don’t have direct contact with Dr. Glaude. I’m aware of his work, but I don’t have direct contact there. I can tell you, and this could be a conversation for us, we have not been as concerted in developing those partnerships with national universities that have African American programs. Some of it has just to do with making sure that we’re elevating our voice in the conversation. And a lot of it is just historic stuff, I’d say. (Laughs.) And I know that’s not an academic word, but I’d say historic stuff between larger predominantly white institutions (PWIs) and HBCUs, particularly those who are in near proximity one to another. Sometimes limits our ability to be more thoughtful about those kinds of partnerships and collaboration. That’s no excuse. I just think that’s the reality. What we do—how we do partner, particularly in the STEM disciplines, I think is more—is becoming more and more significant. For the first time, we got a—I think it’s a $10 million grant several years ago in partnership with the PWI up the street from us, University of Delaware, and it was the first time we were the lead partner in the grant. And that sends a lot of messages to my faculty and the importance of what they can do, and how they can lead really big grants. I think you’re beginning to see some of those partnerships emerge too across the landscape. So doing more on that score in disciplines that are not specific to African American programs I think is important. And certainly, really engaging thoughtfully with those institutions who are serious about the African American studies discipline is certainly important to us, but not near what we should be doing in this space. FASKIANOS: Thanks, Tony. You referenced this a bit in your remarks, but can you talk about how the pandemic affected HBCUs, and how you’re coming out of it? ALLEN: Yeah. I was reluctant to tell this story because I feel like I’ve told it a hundred times, but like other universities we sent our kids home in the March timeframe—all but about two hundred, because those two hundred were otherwise homeless without Delaware State University, literally. We knew that was, one, a proxy for some of the students we actually had sent home who were from very vulnerable situations, but we knew we had to keep at least those two hundred. That was significant for a couple of reasons. And this before any funding came our way—CARES Act, American Rescue Plan. We just used our own coffers to make sure that they were fed, that they were not getting anything, with respect to academic continuity that that was progressing nicely. In some cases we were sending money to them for them to send home. What it was, was an opportunity for us to say—and we knew it deep down, but it was clear—that our students are coming to these institutions not just for the quote/unquote “college experience.” They’re trying to change their—largely, the economic trajectory for themselves, their families, and their communities. And it’s not easy. So our ability to get our students back on campus was the first order of business, and to do that quickly. We were able to develop a program with a place called Testing for America, which helped us develop our protocol, paid for all our tests for about two years, and allowed us to bring our students back right at the fall of 2020, and keep them safe throughout that time. So we’re testing faculty, staff, and students three times a week, at that time. We were doing—aggressively, had really strong protocols, and had a less than 1 percent positivity rate on our campus, which we take great pride—took great pride in then, and take great pride in now. What I’d say for the broader HBCU community, we were fortunate. Some of my other colleagues weren’t as fortunate relative to being able to bring their students back quickly. A lot hangs on the fact that we don’t have major endowments. The resources, let’s say, like I said before, are often low as compared to our predominantly white peers. So it is significant. And the problem is that if you’re not able to keep the academic continuity for many of my students, they will not come back. And we just couldn’t accept that. What I can say though is many in the HBCU community did pretty well based on these notions—that they knew who their students were, that they knew they were going to have to deliver something extra that was not foreign to them—sort of classic wraparound services that we already are known for, but to up that game wherever they found themselves, I think, was important for our own students’ survival. And I think what you’ve seen, you’ve seen this generally at HBCU communities, certainly in Delaware State, our retention rates increased. Our graduation rates were up. And equally important, because of the summer of 2020, in many cases in the world HBCU’s enrollment has gone up, and students have taken a look at HBCUs, what that means for sort of their own cultural identity, and how they want to contribute to the world. And they’re choosing us in a much different way than they had been even five, ten years ago. FASKIANOS: Great. I’m going to go to Jennifer Brinkerhoff. She doesn’t really have a question, but you might want to—if you want to just talk a little bit about your book. Q: Yes. I’m not sure, can you hear me? FASKIANOS: We can. ALLEN: Yes. Q: Awesome. Thank you so much. So we would be very pleased to engage with folks from HBCUs around a new book that I had the privilege of working on with Aaron Williams and Taylor Jack. Aaron Williams is retired USAID and was a sector leader in international affairs in the nonprofit sector of government and the private sector. And this was his legacy upon retirement, was to engage his peers, his colleagues, all of the giants who went before, to be able to collect advice and guideposts to the next generation of young Black leaders who were interested in international affairs. So we would love to share that material with you, and with support from the Hewlett Foundation we are able to engage in some related events and provide copies of the book. So I can put my email address in the chat, but we’re very much interested in the intergenerational dialogue that this book represents, because we really believe that this is what the next generation needs, is to learn from those of you who went before and have succeeded, and know better than anybody else what the challenges are and how best to navigate them. Thank you so much for the opportunity to share this important work, and I hope that we can partner together. Thank you. ALLEN: Hey, Jen, let me—let me just say quickly, I saw this question earlier. I already taped it—I mean, copied it and emailed it to myself before you—(laughs)—before you talked. So I do want to talk to you, one. And then there is our chair of political science, economic development and international affairs, Dr. Donna Patterson, who will be a great point of contact for you. So please put your email in the chat and I’ll send you a note. FASKIANOS: Thank you. And if we could be sure we send it—and Jennifer you’re at George Washington University, correct? Q: Yes, I am at GW, yeah. FASKIANOS: Great. And Pearl Robinson of Tufts has put in the chat, what’s the title of the book? And the title of the book is The Young Black Leader’s Guide to a Successful Career in International Affairs. It’s in the Q&A, so you can get the link there. All right. So if others have questions, please raise your hand. I’m going to call upon President Verret to ask a question. I’m putting him on the spot, but. Q: Thanks for putting me on the spot. I guess the question that I would ask is also about the Americans—the nation's talent needed—from a national security perspective, also from an economic perspective, the talent that is needed to actually drive the American economy, drive America’s leadership position. And as the United States is becoming essentially majority-minority, can the United States—how important is it that we develop the talent that is in our underrepresented populations in order to sustain America’s leadership? ALLEN: Yeah. Well, Mr. President, I’m sure you know the answer to that question. (Laughs.) It’s critical. It’s absolutely critical. And like I said—as you all know, we find ourselves looking at work and the future of work in a much different way than I imagine any of us thought possible at this pace that we’re moving. Effectively, it’s to say that we are training students for jobs that have not yet been invented. So how we do that relative to their ability to analyze critically, write in a way that not only is clear but is compelling with respect to how they tell stories, be creative in the ways in which they want to engage in the world, and how they think about themselves as citizens. It couldn’t be more important. And I’d say, particularly in the African American communities and other communities of color, it’s critical relative to the future of those communities. As I said—and you know this—that the contributions of HBCUs, just as one example from an economic development standpoint, are substantive, but they represent a proxy for much broader contribution from communities of color throughout this country. And, we’ve seen some symbols just recently. If you look at the president’s Cabinet, the most diverse cabinet in the history of the United States. Obviously, I know many of you probably saw the hearings for soon-to-be Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson—and you saw the good and bad of that and what that might portend for our own civility in this country. So I get up every day thinking about the fact that I have a lot of students whose life circumstances are changing because of Delaware State, and in so doing—at least in part—in so doing they have to be a part of the solution for really salvaging our democracy. So that is not just your new engineer or your new political scientist or your new accountant or banker, you have to be really apart of this process if we want to get it right. So I appreciate the question, and I know you all know just how important it is not only in the American context, but around the globe. FASKIANOS: Thank you. I’m just going to take another question from Xavier University of Louisiana. We just heard from the president, but now from Pamela Waldron-Moore, who’s on the political science and international relations faculty. Q: I’ve taken my role of internationalizing our students very seriously. Many of my department’s graduates have gone on to be Foreign Service Officers thanks to the Rangel and Pickering Fellowships made available to them. Today many have lost interest in international service seeing their service and diplomacy more as tokens than as valued for their intellectual capital. Fewer are interested in pursuing international diplomacy. What encouragement can you give international faculty who recognize the importance of Black students representing the Black story? ALLEN: Well, first of all, it’s a great question, and international development is not the only space where folks check a box on the number of students of color they might have in a program. And that’s problematic for all the reasons you outlined. Some of the things we’re doing, again with our Career Pathways programming, is suggesting that the institutions that we’re working with think of doing business with us in cohorts. So it’s not just the one person that got the one opportunity, and then nothing else happens. But you build capacity for four or five, eight or ten students to get a similar situated opportunity, where they can lean on each other but also see faces that look like them and can be encouraging in that way. That’s one. Second is the institutions themselves have to really look at their own pipelines for senior leadership, which is really challenging. So it’s not just that you can find the young Black or brown—the new young Black or brown talent out there, but does your organization look like the community you serve up and down that organization? And that’s a little bit of—has been my struggle in trying to provide some advice and counsel to institutional leaders who are really serious about this business because it does take some bold leadership—looking in places you had not looked before, opening doors you might not have otherwise seen, and then recognizing that if you do that, your pipeline will grow as a result because those students will see the institution as serious about the issue. So I would say don’t give up. I would say press harder. FASKIANOS: Thank you. So next question from Dr. Todd Barry, professor at Hudson County Community College. How far north geographically do HBCUs go? And he hails from Connecticut. ALLEN: (Laughs.) I’m only laughing because I don’t think I’ve ever gotten that question before. But I’m pretty North, actually. Most of the HBCUs are in the Southeast—not all of them, but most of them. The northern most, I guess, would be Cheyney University, the first one. There are two in Pennsylvania—Cheyney University and Lincoln. Lincoln is basically the second—though they will fight over that reputation. (Laughs.) And they are about 20 minutes from each other, and then I am about an hour and ten (minutes) from them, so the northern most are really Cheyney and Lincoln. FASKIANOS: Thank you. Next? Any other questions? I want to just say that next week we are hosting an in-person workshop in New York for college and university professors on the 28th and 29th of April, and we have several professors from HBCUs, which we’re really excited about. But if you want to send any more our way—(laughs)—we would welcome it. The other thing that we do every year is we host a Conference on Diversity in International Affairs. So it’s a collaboration that CFR does with the Global Access Pipeline and International Career Advancement Program, and the dates of that are May 20—let’s see, I think 24 and 25. And we have students come for that, and it’s great professional development. So hopefully if those of you on the call want your students to come—sorry, May 25 and 26—I was off by a day—if any of you want your students to come, we would love to have them. That takes place in D.C. OK. So I’m just looking for any other questions? The other thing I would love for you to talk a little bit—you mentioned your emphasis now on partnerships with government and getting more support from the federal government, but your background, you also had a corporate background. ALLEN: Mm-hmm. FASKIANOS: So how have you in your position—how have HBCUs traditionally leveraged corporate and industry partnerships to build awareness and foster engagement? And what are you specifically doing given your background in that space, thirteen years that you’ve spent? ALLEN: That’s actually—I shouldn’t say it this way, but that has not been as challenging. I think the corporate community, and recently in particular, they’ve showed up in a pretty thoughtful way on balance, on balance, d I don’t just mean in Delaware State, but I think at institutions across the country. The one caveat to that is that fourth priority I mentioned, which is sometimes our smaller HBCUs are left out of that equation because folks don’t know the whole story—that there are 101 of them, that they cut across any number of disciplines, that they’re all doing really high-quality work. So being able to, as I said, build the profile of HBCUs is important. With respect to what we’ve been able to do, we’ve had some significant really record-breaking fundraising over the last two years with the corporate community, and the idea has cut across a number of opportunities for us. One is that catalytic engine I just mentioned, without JPMorgan Chase or Bank of America we wouldn’t have forty other corporate partners who really want to be doing business with us in a much different way than they have in the past. And then the emerging opportunities, there’s an organization called Propel [Center] out of Atlanta. If you don’t know that one, you should. It’s largely funded by a Southern Company and Apple, and it’s all a part of their racial, equity and inclusion efforts. And the idea is that you would create a virtual HBCU space for all HBCUs to have their students engage across a number of core disciplines. For us, we’re spending a lot of time being at Beacon School for Agricultural Technology. For others, it’s the arts, et cetera, et cetera. And it’s a way for the HBCU students to connect with each other across these emerging disciplines and older disciplines; and also, for the companies to connect with these students as well and give them some practical experience relative to what’s happening in the new workspace, what the expectation is in those workspaces, what’s coming down the pike that many of us hadn’t seen before. So it is a unique opportunity because more businesses are coming into that space. They’re finding out about HBCUs in a much different way, and that is creating obviously new opportunities for the students themselves, but, as I said, equally important for the companies who are serious about their business of diversity, equity, and inclusion. FASKIANOS: Fantastic. I’ll just note Ambassador Perry has a comment in the Q&A box about—as a co-drafter of the Rangel program and enabling students to enter the Pickering program, there are opportunities at the State Department that offer paid internships so that’s important to mention. So now I’m going to go to Harold Schmitz, a senior scholar at the University of California Davis, who has raised his hand. Q: Hi. Yeah, it’s Harold Schmitz. And thanks for this. So I’m actually serving on a Blue Ribbon Panel at the National Academy of Sciences, and so we’re looking at it from a land grants perspective, you know, across 1862-1890 and 1990s—thinking specifically about food and agriculture research and how to enhance collaboration between the whole land-grant enterprise as opposed to the traditional sort of 1862s. And so I’d really appreciate hearing your views on how would you see the land-grant enterprise from your perspective operating at a much higher and more collaborative sort of speed and nature than it currently is? ALLEN: It’s an interesting question, Harold. I’m glad you asked it. And a couple of observations. For one, I serve on the Council of 1890s, and for the room, there are about eighteen HBCUs that are 1890 land-grant institutions. And the idea is that we would spend and build deeper relationships with some of our 1860 PWI counterparts, but also among each other. I think the one thing that we as HBCUs, generally in 1890s in particular, can do a bit more clearly is find those unique opportunities in our own space and build capacity together. I did mention Cheyney and Lincoln, and I saw that one of our colleagues corrected me. There absolutely are two great HBCUs in Ohio in Central and Wilberforce as well. But what—we do it from time to time, but what we don’t do often enough is find a way to really build collaborative, comprehensive research projects across our spaces, and proposals, and then present them as unique opportunities. We usually—this is unfortunate, but it is a fact—go to the larger PWIs who have bigger capacity, more staff, more opportunity, and then when we do that, we become a sub to that project, which nothing wrong with being a sub but if you’re always a sub then you’re not going to get the kind of capacity to really build your own research protocol and framework. So we’re trying to do a better job of that as we move forward. And then, as I said, because of the profile that we have received here recently, many more opportunities are coming our way, and what I mean by that is many more conversations. We’ll see if those conversations turn into substantive research dollars and the like, but we are having many more conversations with the right people around how we are able—how we can build support and capacity for our own research interests. FASKIANOS: Great. Thank you. Any other questions? We’re coming to the end of our time, so. There are a lot of, sort of, compliments in the Q&A box saying that this has been a very inspiring discussion. Thank you for your important work. And so just noting that. In our final minutes, Tony, it would be great if you could talk about, what are—you mentioned the four areas that you’re going to focus on with President Biden, but what do you want to—what would you say to all of us to be doing in our communities to help with these efforts? ALLEN: Well, just put HBCUs aside for a second. The story of the country is a story of struggle, right? And that’s certainly true in the African American context, but I think that’s true overall. And our ability to be a more thoughtful, civil society that really lifts all boats is the final—in my view, is the final frontier for the country and I think an opportunity for the world if we get it right. So, oftentimes I say it’s a little less difficult for you to find diverse talent pipelines if your proximity is one that has diverse pipelines in it, which is to say, who do you go to church with, who do you eat dinner with? Who do your friends talk to? Those are the opportunities that I’ve had in my life kind of in the reverse, right, that has helped me—helped open doors for me, helped me get connected in the right ways, helped me open doors for other people. But if we are living largely separate, distinct, homogenous lives based on our race, ethnicity, or gender, it’s going to be a much difficult and really more—you’d have to have a much more concerted effort to break the barriers that are largely artificial in our context. They really are largely artificial when you think about them. They have been cemented by, sort of, these systemic concerns, but they are largely artificial. And this—having an opportunity like this in front of the Council I think is actually a pretty important part of the process because you’re going to expose yourself in a way that you might not have thought of. Quite frankly, it’s one of the reasons I said yes to doing this because I’m exposing myself to something I might not have—just might not have crossed my mind in my business. Now I know just why important it is. So I would just have you think about proximity in your own lives, as I certainly do, and where you see the opportunity to make a real difference, do it and do it boldly. FASKIANOS: Wonderful. Thank you, and well—this has been really terrific opportunity for us, too, to have this exchange with you. Thank you for your leadership. If nobody else has a question, we will close a couple minutes early because I know that everybody is busy, and we really appreciate you taking the time from your busy schedule to do this. So thank you for that. And thanks to everybody for their comments. We can circulate links after this to the transcript of video as well as some of the resources that have been mentioned. Again, I’m just going to say, if you have a professor that you want to send next week to our College and University Educators Workshop, reach out to me—(laughs)—and of course, we will be sending out information about our diversity conference because this is extremely important to us. We also have paid internships at CFR, which is extremely helpful and important as we look to diversify. So thank you, again, Dr. Allen. Appreciate it. ALLEN: Thank you. FASKIANOS: And to all of you, please continue follow us at @CFR_academic on Twitter, visit CFR.org, ForeignAffairs.com and ThinkGlobalHealth.org. I know this is a busy time for all of you with finals, graduation, and everything else. So good luck with the rest of the semester, and we look forward to your continued participation. ALLEN: Take care. (END)
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    Higher Education Webinar: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in College and University Admissions
    Play
    Natasha Warikoo, professor of sociology at Tufts University and author of The Diversity Bargain: And Other Dilemmas of Race, Admissions, and Meritocracy at Elite Universitiesleads a conversation on diversity, equity, and inclusion in college and university admissions.   FASKIANOS: Welcome to CFR’s Higher Education Webinar. I’m Irina Faskianos, vice president of the National Program and Outreach at CFR. Today’s discussion is on the record, and the video and transcript will be posted on our website at CFR.org/academic. As always, CFR takes no institutional positions on matters of policy. We are delighted to have Natasha Warikoo with us to talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion in college and university admissions. Dr. Warikoo is professor of sociology at Tufts University and an expert on racial and ethnic inequality in education. She is a former Guggenheim fellow and previously served as associate professor of education at Harvard University. Prior to her academic career, Dr. Warikoo taught in New York City’s public schools and worked at the U.S. Department of Education. She has written several books on race and higher education. Her most recent is entitled The Diversity Bargain: And Other Dilemmas of Race, Admissions, and Meritocracy at Elite Universities. So, Dr. Warikoo, thank you very much for being with us today. We really appreciate it. I thought you could just take us through the current diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies in college and university admissions, and what you’ve seen over the course of your career, and where you see this going. WARIKOO: Great. Well, thank you. Thank you so much for the invitation, Irina. And thank you to all of you for being here. I can see your names, although I can’t see your faces. So what I thought I would do, as I thought about this question about DEI and admissions, is sort of to take us—to zoom out a little bit. So I’ll talk about affirmative action because I think when we think about DEI in the context of admissions that’s sort of what immediately comes to mind. And I’ve written about this. But I want to take us broader and think also just about admissions more broadly. And some of the arguments I want to make are from my forthcoming book with Polity Press, Is Affirmative Action Fair? So I want to start by saying that I think we need to move away from this idea that there is one best, most fair way of admitting students to college. At colleges we tend to see—we tend to treat admissions as a reward for individual achievement, right? You work—the narrative is that you work hard, and you can get—you show your grit, and you show your achievements, and you can get in. And then in that context, affirmative action becomes one small kind of fix to ensure that the system is fair to everyone, along with things like increasing financial aid and recruiting around the country so students are aware of the university. And I found this in my interviews with Ivy League students in Diversity Bargain, I found that students—they thought that admissions worked, and it was because affirmative action kind of corrected underrepresentation. And they were satisfied with how admissions were done, despite the fact that multiple groups, including working-class students, Black students, and Latinx students, continue to be underrepresented. But they felt like it was sort of fixed enough. And I want to argue that, instead, we should think about admissions as something that furthers university goals and not just selects the kind of, quote/unquote, “best of the best.” So let me explain. In a series of lectures in 1963, the president—the then-President of the University of California Clark Kerr, noticed that universities had become what he called multi-universities. They were organizations beholden to multiple purposes and goals. Teaching, research, and the public good. And not much has changed since then. A recent study of college mission statements found that these three goals endure. Most college mission statements express commitments to teaching, as well as the public good, inculcating civic values. And in general, U.S. universities see themselves as much more kind of embedded in the fabric of society compared to expressing the goal of bettering society, making it more equitable, commitments to diversity, much more so than universities in Europe and Britain. And many Americans also imagine higher education to be a kind of engine for social mobility. We think about, you know, since the 1950s the expansion of higher education. We sort of look to higher education as a mechanism for bettering ourselves and our futures. So what colleges do—when they admit students, then, should be in pursuit of these goals, not—again, not an individual certification of merit, or who’s deserving. And, implicitly with who’s deserving comes who’s not deserving. And I think that colleges really need to make this goal to prospective and current students explicit. So rather than talking about, oh, this year we have the best class ever, the lowest admit rate ever. We should be really sort of talking about admissions in the context of what we’re trying to do as a university and embedded in society. So the late Lani Guinier in her book The Tyranny of Merit (sic; The Tyranny of the Meritocracy) argued that we should consider college admissions as a mechanism to a more robust democracy. And when we do that, Guinier argued that it should lead us to discard standardized testing as a part of the application process in favor of broad, inclusive representation. And I want to argue, if we consider the goal of social mobility, it becomes even more unclear why certain kinds of measures of academic achievement in general have become the central focus for college admissions. In fact, one might even make the case that academics should play the opposite role to what it plays. If colleges want to promote social mobility, perhaps admissions should be akin to means-tested social supports, provided to those who need it most whether because of their financial—the financial hardships that their families endure, racial exclusion, or weak academic skills. But of course, this is not what we do. Families of a majority of students at top colleges pay more per year—you know, are not on financial aid, pay more per year than the median household income in the United States. And a 4.0 grade point average, of course, seems increasingly to be a prerequisite to even be considered for admissions at top colleges, especially if you’re not a child of an alum or a donor—a high-profile donor. So, I think it’s hard to shake the belief that selective colleges should foreground achievement in admissions and that there’s one best way to do this. Unlike the labor market, for which we understand that applicants are chosen for jobs on the basis of what a company needs not a reward for the kind of best applicant, you know, we understand that the marketing job would go to a different person than the head of engineering job, and that would be a different person from the head of finance job. But in higher education, we describe admissions as a reward for hard work and dedication. It’s the backbone of our beliefs in equal opportunity and meritocracy. But seeing admissions as a competition to decide who’s the most deserving reinforces ideas about who’s deserving and undeserving. Again, given the outcomes of admissions, it says that people who are economically advantaged, who are White, who are Asian American, are more worthy and deserving, because those groups tend to be who are the ones that are rewarded in the admissions process. So this tension between an individualist, winner-takes-all meritocracy and a process of selection that seeks to fulfill multiple missions of research, teaching, and the public good, and social mobility, is what lies, to me, at the heart of controversies over affirmative action. So let me say a little bit about affirmative action. I see it less as a kind of fix to this individual meritocracy, but rather as a critical policy, an important policy, that promotes four important organizational goals. The first is a diverse learning environment. This is the argument that the U.S. Supreme Court, starting in the 1978 Bakke decision has said is allowable under the law. So Justice Powell in the Bakke decision said: Well, as long as you have a narrowly tailored version of attention to race, then, you know, if you are looking at race in order to fulfill a university mission of having a diverse learning environment in which everyone flourishes, then that is allowed. And since then, there’s been decades of research from social scientists showing all of the benefits from these diverse environments in terms of cognitive capacity, racial attitudes, civic participation in the future. So we know that affirmative action works in this way. Now, I highlight in my book, The Diversity Bargain, the problem with solely talking about this kind of diverse learning environment argument is that it ignores inequality. So we also need to talk about inequality. And colleges, I think, need to do a lot better job of talking about racial inequality, the racial inequality that is really the root of—and the history of affirmative action. And that leads me to my second argument for affirmative action. And when we think about the goal of promoting social mobility and opportunity, we have to take into consideration race in admissions. We have plenty of evidence of racial inequality. I won’t go through all of this, but just to say that, sometimes people say, well, it’s related to class and not race. But even within the same social class, we see racially different opportunities. So working-class Whites tend to live in more advantaged neighborhoods than working-class Blacks. And a recent study found that Black—upper middle-class Black adults—excuse me. Black adults who grew up in upper middle-class families are much more likely to experience downward mobility than are White adults who grew up in upper middle-class families. And so we see this kind of intergenerational differences in terms of the transmission of privilege. Third, reparations. And reparations not just from the harms of slavery, but also from U.S. intervention in foreign wars abroad. And, again, if we think about these organizational goals of playing a civic role, and these universities as wanting to be kind of bastions of racial equity, we know that many elite colleges have benefitted from the slave trade, from slave labor, from—you know, have had faculty who have sort of been part of the foreign policies that led to poverty in other countries. And so reparations is another way that I think—another institutional goal that can be met through affirmative action. And lastly, a diverse, legitimate leadership. We know that affirmative action can lead to diversity in leadership. President Obama talked about how he thinks he benefitted from affirmative action, just as Sotomayor talks about how she was an affirmative action baby. If we think that that symbolic representation matters—and it matters in order for leadership to be seen as legitimate, to be—for people to be seen—to see leadership that looks like them is increasingly important. And so, again, thinking about the contribution to society, this is one small way that higher education—a role that higher education can play. So the last thing I want to say about this is that any way you admit students, there are winners and there are losers. There’s no one best way of defining and measuring merit. It’s always historically and geographically contingent. You know, other countries do admissions very differently. When I talk to British students, they—Britain has a very different way of admitting students, but they think their way is the best. And even within the U.S., we’ve changed the way we define merit and admit students over time as well. And so history suggests that reasonable people and selective colleges will disagree about how to admit students. So overall, I want to—I think we need to change our typical vision for college admissions as an individualist, meritocratic competition. When we consider affirmative action within a broader consideration of the purposes of selective higher education in the U.S., we can see its true worth. College admission is not and should not be an evaluation of the worthiness or deservingness of individuals. And, you know, we need greater representation to make sure our future leaders are exposed to diverse perspectives and lived experiences, that our future leadership is seen as legitimate. Colleges in the United States are embedded in a society plagued by rampant inequality, including racial inequality, and one in which we often turn to education as a mechanism to address that inequality. And so, I think the lack of clarity sometimes on university purposes allowed families to map their own meanings onto selection. And I think that universities need to correct these misunderstandings explicitly. So, of course, affirmative action is enough to fully address the diverse roles of our universities. It’s one small policy. And its impact might be paltry compared to increasing financial aid, increasing funding for state and community colleges, increasing funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, social supports for working-class and poor families. The list goes on. But I want to remind everyone that these policies are not zero-sum. It’s not that we need to pursue one or the other. We should pursue all of them, alongside affirmative action, and not as a replacement. And so, supporting affirmative action doesn’t preclude supporting an expansion of all these other provisions to increase equity, either within higher education or beyond. So let me stop here, and I’m really looking forward to the discussion. FASKIANOS: Thank you so much for that overview. We appreciate it. And now we are going to go to all of you for your questions and comments. So I’m going to go first, great, to Beverly Lindsay. Q: Good afternoon, Natasha. It’s good to hear your comments. I have a few comments, but I also then want to raise a question on something that was not covered. As you probably know, Manuel Justiz and I wrote the book in 2001 on The Quest for Equity in Higher Education. And you probably know a number of my colleagues, like Roger Geiger, dealing with historical aspects. For example, of how testing came into place, because there were too many Jewish students at elite universities like Yale and Harvard. I should tell you also that I am still a professor of higher education and international policy studies. But one of the questions or concerns that Manny and I still have, and that is the change from affirmative action to multicultural education to DEI. And what we often see is there’s these changes that occur that don’t necessarily reflect what is done in the actual admissions office. That’s one issue. The second really critical issue, and you’re welcome to read my book that’s just coming out—it actually came out this past month, about three days ago, on higher education policy in developing and Western countries. And that is league tables, ratings. Parents are doing everything to be in that higher education university, whether it’s a public Ivy like Berkeley, or Texas, or Wisconsin, or Virginia. And no one is raising—or, very few people are raising these questions about second-tier. So you have the issue of ratings. And the U.S. News and World Report, of course, is one that many American parents will look at, but internationally it’s the Times Higher Education and QS, for example. So that’s one issue. But the second issue, which I mentioned first, was DEI. Because historically and currently, many of the people who are in DEI are people of color. And they have no faculty rank. So they’re really not involved in the admission process, whether at the undergraduate or the graduate level. So if you could briefly offer some comments about those two key areas. Thank you. WARIKOO: Thank you. Well, I didn’t know that your book was out, so I’m super excited to read it. Thanks for highlighting that. So, yeah, I think these are two really important issues. So I’ll start with the rankings. It’s clear that the rankings are just—have this terrible influence in higher education. I don’t know if you’ve seen that book by Wendy Espeland and Michael Sauder, I forgot the title of it, but they basically did this study of—they looked at law schools and how law schools seem to respond to rankings and how it’s sort of changing the organizations. And they highlight very clearly this—first, all of—having a ranking system—and I kind of see a parallel to admissions, right? When you rank people—we’re so obsessed with selection and ranking in the United States that when you have this system people are always looking up. Like, oh, OK, well, if there’s a ranking and I’m number ten, I want to be number nine, and then I want to be number eight. And so they’re always looking up. And then they’re trying to figure out ways to sort of increase their standing. And they’re—doing things that are not always beneficial, certainly not beneficial to students who are kind of nontraditional students, right? And they are doing things like rather than more financial aid for—based on what your family needs, merit-based financial aid, which is their way of bringing in students with higher SAT scores to bump their average SAT score, so that they can get a bump in the rankings. And then, you always have to ask yourself, for what? What does that—what does that ultimately get you? And again, I think we have to go to first principles. What is our purpose, right? What are we trying to do as a university? Do we—can we fulfill that mission with a student body that is increasingly privileged and increasingly does not look like a cross-section of eighteen-year-olds in the United States? And so, to me, the answer is no. (Laughs.) And I think we have a problem in that way. So I totally agree with you that the rankings are a huge problem. And I think the most elite colleges maybe can get away with not participating, but I think the lower-status colleges say, well, if we don’t participate then, they look for the data and then just put us lower than we should be. So they always—they feel compelled. I think it will take an organized effort to sort of move away from those rankings. But I think they are incredibly damaging. And they—ultimately, they hurt students who are—who don’t have the educational opportunities as much as privileged students do. In terms of DEI, I think that this is a problem not just in higher education. I think in the corporate sector, all over we see, on the one hand this promising increase in chief diversity officers, heads of diversity in a lot of different kinds of organizations. Even in school districts we’re seeing this. And on the other hand, the extent to which they have power to impact change varies tremendously. And, if that person being—a solo voice, and it really depends on how much they are backed by the administration, by leadership. In terms of admissions specifically, my experience is that a lot of people go into admissions because they care about diversity and equity, right? And they—I had a lot of former students who were admissions officers when I was teaching students who were getting their master’s degrees in higher education. And they really—they talked about how they thought that being in this role they could help shape the student body of a selective college in a way that would increase opportunity. And then they would—a lot of them talked about then what they would find is that there are all of these things that don’t allow them to really do that to the extent that they would like—and I think even heads of admissions would like—because, you know, they have to—they can only give out a certain number of—amount of financial aid. And even in a place like Harvard, right, with this crazy endowment, is admitting students that almost half of them can pay full price—which is, again, higher than median household income in this country. And so their whole financial model is based on the assumption that you’re not going to be a representative group of students. So I think they come across all kinds of things. Athletic recruiting is a mechanism of privilege. The development office. And so I think—I think it’s going to take a much broader shift in the culture of higher education to expand admissions. And I really think that we need to sort of come back to what are we trying to do here? And does this fit our mission? To me, when you have a student body that is not representative, it’s not—how are you developing the leaders for tomorrow in that case? So. FASKIANOS: Thank you. I’m going to go next to Jeff Rosensweig. Q: Thank you, Professor. And I’ve learned a lot from you. And I like your zero-sum versus sometimes positive-sum. I’m in Atlanta at Emory University, where we have wonderful schools like Spelman and Morehouse, and a tremendous amount of money is flowing to them now, and ultimately will be better for our society. And that’s an example of positive-sum. But let’s go back to zero-sum. At Emory, I’m very proud because we rank right near the top of the top twenty or top twenty-two universities in terms of social mobility. Having students, for instance, from the bottom fifth. But living in Georgia, we got two Democratic senators, we voted for President Biden, very close margins, as you know, because a lot of White traditional Republicans voted—(laughs)—Democratic. But you sense a backlash as you listen to people whisper that, for instance, it sounds like—you may not use the word—but it sounds like quotas. You know, there’s 14 percent Hispanics persons in the U.S. We want 14 percent of Harvard to be Hispanic. A certain amount of people make over—make enough to pay tuition. Well, we shouldn’t have 50 percent from that group, even if it’s two Black doctors or their parents. So I’m worried about perhaps a lack—I don’t know if you are going to issue a second edition someday of your book—but there’s been a tremendous sea-change in the last two years in college admissions, in a very big concern for DEI. We just searched for a new dean. We asked him to write three essays. An entire essay was what have they done—and done, not just talked about—to enhance DEI, and what will they do, if they become dean? The rankings are now looking at schools and seeing what are they doing for DEI. So I do worry, if you are—if your book just may be two years too late. (Laughs.) Your book maybe pre-George Floyd instead of post. So that is my main concern there. But also my main—my other main concern is with the zero-sum. We all want more diversity, but are we risking—if we use your formulaic approach—going too far and having a backlash? WARIKOO: Yeah. Thanks for your question. You know, I think part of the problem is that we don’t—I don’t think most people, myself included until probably I was in college or maybe even later, understand the reality of racial inequality and the history of racial exclusion in the United States. So, we all learn about slavery, the heinous history of slavery and segregation and the Civil Rights Movement. But I think there’s less attention to, well, how did we get here? Why is there—why do we see these racial differences, even among the upper-middle class, even among working-class families? What— how did that happen? And I think that—I don’t think many people really understand that, because we’re never taught it and we don’t talk about it. And I think—I actually think that is—rather than too much attention to it, I think not enough understanding of that history is part of the problem. So to me, the solution is not to move away from it. In terms of—I’m certainly not advocating quotas. I know that—legally that that wouldn’t work anyway. And I think that to me it’s just sort of canary in the coal mine, right? Just to sort of say, well, when we see these massive differences, it should say—it should make us go, hmm. Something’s off here. What’s going on? We say that this is a fair system. When you talk to most people in the country, they—young people, they want to go to college, they think it’s important. It just gives us pause. And that’s all I meant to highlight. I’m certainly not saying that there should be—that college student bodies should explicitly mirror the population around them. So just to take the examples that you gave, the—the Atlanta elite colleges, like Black colleges and then historically predominantly White colleges like Emory—there’s a great book by Adam Harris called The State Must Provide, which is about the history of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. And you see—one of the things you see in that history is the way that colleges—like my own college, Tufts University, like Emory, had the—even University of Georgia—have had the benefit of generations of building their endowment, right? And their endowment is built at a time from times when there was legal segregation. And so these donations to these HBCUs is great, but it’s not—it’s not even coming close to making the resources for those colleges comparable to the resources that the historically—the predominantly White universities. And so, I think we have a long way to go to sort of truly equalize those colleges, even though I think there has been more attention. And the zero-sum thing? I think you’re totally right. And one of the things that I have been talking about is the fact that why haven’t our selective colleges expanded enrollment, right? I mean, the population has been steadily growing since—I mean, with fits and starts. But they have not kept up with the increasing population and increasing interest in elite higher education over the last half-century. And so I do think one thing we could do is expand enrollment at these places. I mean, there’s so many amazing young people, these colleges reject so many applicants. There is—you know, they—nothing—their standards would not decrease. I don’t think there’s any real worry that anything would change. But I think that it would provide opportunity to more people. And so—and it would feel less zero-sum, in that sense. I think part of the problem is you have declining admit rates making it feel like you’re kind of constantly in competition with each other. And that’s—we know the research on kind of group threat. That’s when group threat and anxiety about, well, if we have affirmative action then what about my group? That gets heightened through these kinds of processes. So certainly, I think that’s part of the problem as well. FASKIANOS: Thank you. I’m going to go to Eric Hoffman next. He has a raised hand and wrote a question. So, Eric, why don’t you just unmute and identify yourself and ask it yourself. Q: Sure. I’d be happy to. Can you hear me? WARIKOO: Yes. FASKIANOS: Yes. Q: Yes. Thank you, Professor, for all that important and interesting insight. I’m the dean at a community college, and I oversee the honors college. And we—I’m in Miami, Florida. And we’re focused on, in the last two years, on a very strong DEI effort here to increase the number of Black and African American students. We are a Hispanic-serving and minority-serving institute, but our number of Black and African Americans aren’t the numbers we’d like it to be. Understanding implicit bias, institutional memory, and just plain inertia, how do we get those members of admissions committee on—sort of moving forward towards that goal? Because it sounds easy, we put together mandates, put together programs. But at the end of the day, we’re working with people on these admissions committee, and they’re not always—there’s a little reluctance at times to change. That’s just human nature, right? So how do—what kind of evidence, what kind of strategies can we use to kind of move people along the continuum to get—to understand that we really need to examine and admit students, sometimes more holistically. Thank you. WARIKOO: Yeah. Maybe you can answer a question, though. So what are they—what are they saying when they are kind of resisting admitting those students? What’s their worry? Q: Well—(laughs)—not to expose too much—but it seems to be a similar refrain as it relates to let’s really focus on standardized scores as opposed to GPA and other holistic factors, when we know GPA is a five-times better predictor of college success than the standardized scores. But some individuals are so used to using sort of this metric of standardized scores, it’s hard to move them away from that, saying, you know, this isn’t really the best measure, most valid measure, of being successful in college. WARIKOO: Yeah. Well, so I was going to say, one of the things you could do is just present this data, right? So, here’s the data on the predictive power of GPA, here’s the data on the predictive power of standardized test scores, here’s what the standardized test score adds, here’s what the racial difference is that we see in these scores. And I think, I don’t know—I mean, the history of standardized testing is a history of trying to prove the superiority of Whites over all people of color, right? I think when you understand that it’s, like, oh, OK, so this is the history of this. And I also wonder if just observing students who are successful. Like, just profiles of students who maybe didn’t have that high SAT score and did well, and were able to sort of have—your college made a positive impact in their lives. And helping people see that either through someone coming to a meeting, or a profile, so that they—sometimes people need that story of—to sort of have this image in their head. So I think that can be something that can be convincing. Because I think sometimes there are these—there might be this sort of stereotype in their minds of, this is what these students are, they’re not going to be successful or take advantage, or what have you. But if they can see kind of what we call counter-stereotypic examples, that can sort of combat those stereotypes. So those are few things that come to mind for me. So it’s great that you’re doing that. FASKIANOS: Wonderful. Let’s go to Jude Jones next. Q: It’s a great presentation. I don’t work in admissions. I’m a faculty member at Fordham University in New York. But I do a lot of things related to DEI work, and I do read applications at the admissions level for our honors program. But admission on the level of admitting for mission, I’m totally on board with that. It makes sense. I believe our universities should look and be more like a cross-section, as you said, of teenagers in our country right now. As a pragmatist—I teach philosophy and American pragmatism is one of my things—I always think in terms of, what an idea leads to as being what it means, right? And so one of the downstream consequences of admitting for mission is that mission is often—I think this relates to the previous question too—mission’s often out ahead of culture where inclusion is concerned. Our institutions change very slowly, because that’s what institutions do, unfortunately. And students are rightly impatient with that, but there it is. And so what I find sometimes is that a disproportionate amount of the emotional labor of institutional change winds up falling to the students who come and then clamor for the reality that their admission would suggests would meet them when they get to schools that are not historically—have not historically been as committed to this as possible. So the problem then becomes an unintended consequence of admitting for diversity as a mission value—which, again, I’m totally on board for—is that that gap between the ideal and the real then exacerbates the sense of exclusion that students come with, because our culture has—we’re still an exclusive culture, not a sufficiently just culture—that the benefit of diversity in admissions was after in the first place. It would exacerbate students’ negative experience. And I don’t want this to be an argument against admitting for this reason or on this model, but just sort of a request for how to think about this. And maybe even in terms of brass tacks, do you think that there should be metrics for levels of support and institutional change that should follow this approach? And if so, what should those be? So I hope that makes sense, what I’m asking. WARIKOO: Yeah. Thanks for your comment. And that’s a really important point. And you can’t—you can’t change admissions alone, right? And so when you—I think absolutely we need institutional supports, right? So, part of my—when people say, well, the—I’m sorry—Eric, when you talk about, well, people are worried about are these students going to be successful, or they’re looking at test scores and maybe they’re thinking are these students going to be successful. And, my response to that is also that if a student—if someone had demonstrated some kind of excellence in their grades—they’re the top of their class, or whatever it is, then we need to be an organization that can serve them, right? And so we need to—the culture needs to shift, right? We need to have those supports, right? We need to make sure there are a quorum of peers who have similar lived experiences. We need—and I think higher education—some colleges have done better than others in these. I mean, for decades there have been kind of Africana centers. Increasingly there are centers for first-generation students. And so having an institutional space I think is one, academic supports for students who haven’t had the same educational opportunities, who may have been a good student but did not have the same rigorous curriculum as some of their peers, I think those are incredibly important and to do those in ways that are not stigmatizing I think is incredibly important., And so absolutely there have to be these simultaneous—if the student body is changing and we’re expanding access, we need to change the culture and change—and the institutions can do this and be very deliberate about how they do it. And because you’re right. And I think the reality is that it will be a harder lift for students who haven’t had those educational experiences. But that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be there, right, that we need to work hard just to meet their needs and prioritize those as well, so. Q: I’m thinking more in terms of, you know, there is a heavy lift, maybe, but more in terms of students become very involved in diversity-oriented activities, right? And calls for social justice. Students come in with activism experience that’s just extraordinary, you know? But that is emotional labor. And it really is a drain, especially during the pandemic, which just multiplies everything. So that’s part of where I’m worried—not so much the academic lift, but—although those supports are absolutely important. But, they want more of the change for which they were admitted, to highlight that this is a very important value. WARIKOO: Yeah. Yeah. And it shouldn’t be their job, right? Q: Right, exactly. (Laughter.) WARIKOO: They’re there to get an education like everybody else. And it shouldn’t be their job. And it’s unfortunate when it kind of falls in their lap. So I agree with you that this is a problem. Q: Thanks. FASKIANOS: Let’s go next to John Murray. Q: Greetings. Thank you for the presentation. I am director of international admissions at Hesston College. I’m also a member of our diversity, equity, and inclusion leadership team. We are a very high-quality institution, but we would not be considered in an elite. (Laughs.) We are in the unfortunate position of most years receiving fewer applications than we have spaces available. I’m curious what your research would say to us about how we might work at increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion when we’re not kind of selecting between individuals. WARIKOO: OK. So I didn’t hear where you’re teaching and where your college is located. Q: Hesston College is in central Kansas. We’re about thirty miles north of Wichita. So we’re also in a rural setting. WARIKOO: Got it. Got it. So, I would sort of think about—so, two things. One is that I think, DEI is not just for people of color, right? So, what does DEI look like for White students as well, and what kinds of programing or classes or course content are—or, what do our syllabi look like? And are there—is diversity reflected on the syllabi? So I think there’s a lot that is important to think about in terms of DEI for White students as well as students of color. That would be my first thing to think about. And then the second is, if there are populations that—in the state or the geographic area—who aren’t coming to your college, sometimes it takes some creative planning, like a partnership with a particular high school, or, where there’s—where students can take a class, and if they do well in that class then they get admitted, or they get a scholarship, or they can take a class for free when they’re in high school, or, you know, these kinds of kind of linkages that can bring attention to—make a student think, oh, I could go there, and I could do well there, and this is a place for people like me. I think that’s what students need to—we need to find ways for them to think and feel in order for them to see a particular college as a viable option. And I think the other thing is just once you start then hopefully it sort of snowballs, right? Because then there’s a quorum of people, and then they—and then there’s a network, and then it doesn’t feel as exclusive of a place, and students start to sort of see a place differently as well. So I think you’re moving in the right direction. And, the college in Miami, I would say the same thing, right? Once you get that momentum it can be very positive. FASKIANOS: OK. I’m going to go next to Jonathan Aronson, who also wrote his question. But, Jonathan, please do ask it. Q: I’m coming from a different age. But I will just read my question: My concern is with mental health and anxiety in the students once they get here. Elite schools can accept a class of nothing but valedictorians. But 25 percent of them, by the math, are going to be in the bottom quarter of the class. Fifty years ago a then-dean of admissions at Harvard said, well, we deal—you know, this is before all of the equity, all of the diversity. He said, you know, we accept, what he called, “the happy bottom quarter.” Twenty-five percent of the class was taken on non-academic grounds. And that could be dancers and football players. But he said—we wouldn’t do it that way today, but how do admissions people deal with the whole problem of mental health in—when thinking about admissions of the class as a whole? WARIKOO: So, it’s interesting. I mean, I think mental health is a really important issue. I don’t—I don’t know if kind of—there’s not a lot of emphasis on ranking within a college, like once students arrive. Especially on elite colleges, there seems to be a considerable grade inflation. And so I think no one—I mean, students—I think students who aren’t academically prepared may struggle, but for the most part I think that’s become less—I don’t know that that’s the driver of some of the increasing concerns about mental health for college-age students. I think there are other sort of drivers of that, like, social media—obviously, the pandemic is probably number one right now. Even prior to the pandemic, social media, increasing—you know, I think there’s that great book by William Deresiewicz—I’m blanking on the title—but it’s about this sort of lack of—there’s so much focus on achievement and meeting certain—kind of jumping through particular hoops put in front of us, and that sometimes young people can be—get really good at that, doing what they’re told to do, and then when, you know, stop to ask, what do I really want, or what am I really interested in, or who do I want to be? That becomes even harder. Excellent Sheep is the name of that book. That becomes even harder. And I think those are some of the things that I think are driving some of the mental health issues. And I think they’re very real, particularly in this pandemic. And so—but I think that that is not unique to elite colleges. I mean, what drives kind of mental health issues may be slightly different for different young people. But we really see that certainly at the high school level as well across the board, across lines of race and class. FASKIANOS: Great. I don’t know, Beverly, you wrote a comment. I don’t know if you wanted to surface that yourself, Beverly Lindsay? Q: It was just a comment about—that the gentleman made about mental health. And having been a dean at two different types of universities, we can’t really consider a lot of individual-type mental health unless it’s been in the public sphere. However, once the student enters, there is a considerable amount of resources for students to deal with mental health. And I am in the University of California system now. And I know we’re very, very concerned. But I taught a unit, for example, after the very sad situation at VPI, Virginia Polytech, over a decade ago. And unfortunately, that student had mental health issues, but we were not able—not “we”—the university was not able to have access to that. So there are two types of kinds of dimensions to the mental health issues. WARIKOO: Yeah. FASKIANOS: Thank you, Beverly. Let’s go to Jennifer Brinkerhoff. Q: Hi. Thank you so much for a very interesting conversation. I wanted to go back to the comment that was made earlier from the gentleman from Emory in Georgia about backlash. Because a lot of the DEI programming is significantly hampered by what I would call lawsuit harassment, right? I mean, we know that there are political constituencies out there who really want to fight this. And it makes it extremely difficult for universities to advance these agendas when they know that the cost of lawsuits, even when they’re right—when they’re doing the right thing and they’re doing something that is legal—but the cost of lawsuits becomes prohibitive. So I wondered if you encountered that or you addressed that at all in your research, and what advice you would have related to that. Thanks. WARIKOO: Yeah. I think this is very real. I feel like it’s kind of grown exponentially in the last few years. (Laughs.) So it’s not in my research. But—and it’s K-12 education, as we see with this sort of supposed anti-CRT—critical race theory—stuff. My only response to that is I don’t know what the solution is besides just keep doing what we’re doing. Because you can’t back down in the face of these impending lawsuits because I feel like—I feel like the right is so organized in their attacks on anything related—any acknowledgment of racial inequality in American society that, OK, if we don’t talk about DEI, then there’s talk about admissions. If we don’t talk admissions—if we look at the K-12 level, there’s this new attack on selective high schools, where most recently a judge—there was a lawsuit towards a selective high school in Virginia that went from exam-based admissions to holistic admissions. They’re not talking about race. And there was still a lawsuit, right? (Laughs.) So I think you can sort of back off and you’re still going to get sued. So I think the solution can’t be to back off because we don’t want to be paralyzed. And, I mean, I think it’s very real. I mean, some of the research on affirmative action shows that there seems to be a sort of backing away from affirmative action because of these fears of lawsuits. Not at the very elite places, but the kind of second-tier kinds of colleges. So we have seen that. But, again, I’m not sure—obviously colleges have to protect themselves and are going to be thinking strategically about their finances, the likelihood of being sued. But I don’t think—I’m not sure what to do about that threat besides saying, I don’t think it’s a reason to not do this work. You’ll get attacked anyway. FASKIANOS: Thank you. (Laughs.) Natasha, can you talk a little bit more about college admissions lotteries, and how that methodology is affecting DEI? WARIKOO: Yeah. Well, no one’s doing a lottery, but I have written a little bit about it. So, one of the things that I—as I’ve been talking, I’ve been saying we have to stop thinking of this as an individual certification of merit, is that part of the way to do that is to change the meaning of selection. It’s funny, I’ll tell you a story, my husband was just on jury duty for the first time yesterday, because he’s a naturalized citizen. So he came home and said, “You know, I didn’t really want to be put on this trial because it would mean—they said it was going to be, like, a long trial. But I—you know, but I answered honestly.” And then he got interviewed by the judge and these two lawyers. And then he said, “When they said, OK, you’re dismissed at the end I felt a sense of disappointment. And he was, like, because it felt like I was—I didn’t win, right?” He was like, “But I didn’t want to be on this. I never wanted to be—I mean, obviously if you’re selected, you’re selected. You don’t have a choice.” But I think these systems—and the reason I tell you that story is that these systems of selection kind of do a number on us, right? It’s, like, we get so caught up in them. And I think what a lottery would do is say, you know what? It’s random. (Laughs.) Like, because the reality is it’s kind of random, you know? Did you grow up in a family that has the resources to pay for you to go to private music lessons, and now, this college needs an oboist because the oboist is graduating? Or did you get to sign up for—did your parents pay for you to sign up—in my latest research in a high school, kids are—they have, like, a private pitching coach. And so now you get recruited to be the pitcher on the baseball team. And so it’s—that’s kind of random, you know? And the reality is that—but we act as if this is, like, a selection. So, to me, a lottery—we could say: Let’s put all the potential people, all the names in a hat, and let’s just have a lottery. And, we can think about, like, do we want to have—and then make clear, like, we want to have a quorum of full fee-paying students. And that doesn’t feel very good. But that’s kind of what we’re doing, so let’s call a spade a spade, you know? People who, athletes or whatever it is that that college is sort of looking at. Intended majors. I think that—and we can think about diversity holistic—I think we can’t have kind of set metrics like, you get extra points or anything like that for being underrepresented, but we can think about it holistically, and being put into this lottery. And it would acknowledge the fact that there are a lot of amazing young people in this country who could thrive at most of these selective colleges. And I think it would change the meaning in a way that I think is very productive for society. So that’s sort of why I think that a lottery is a very promising idea. FASKIANOS: Great. I don’t know if anybody has other questions or comments, but I will ask one more. In your research you found that White students and students of color perceive the benefits of diversity differently. What lessons can we learn from this, or have you learned, and how do you think you shift this—the perception differences? WARIKOO: Yeah. I think one of the problems of the way that we talk about affirmative action and diversity only as a sort of, everybody benefits, everybody wins, is that it kind of leads to these expectations on the part of White students of their peers of color, right? Well, if diversity is all about improving my own educational experience, and I can see how I have benefited from those diverse voices in the classroom, then why—like then—and some of them would get annoyed when they saw, like, a table of Black students in the cafeteria. And of course, they didn’t notice all those other tables of White students in the cafeteria, but they would say, well, if they’re here to enlighten me, then they should be kind of integrating into these White spaces. And of course, that student wouldn’t then go and sit at that table of Black students, but they’re expecting the Black students to integrate into these predominantly White spaces. And so I think there are all these unfair expectations on the underrepresented students of color. And of course, they’re all assumed to have benefitted from affirmative action, and we know that’s not the case. And so I think there’s also this sort of assumption that they should always win, right? So I had a student admitted to Harvard say, well, if I hadn’t gotten into Harvard, I would have felt that I experienced racial discrimination, right, if, you know, the student of color at my high school had gotten in and I hadn’t. And so there is this belief that they should always be winners. And even with affirmative action, it’s just there to benefit themselves. And I think we need to get away from that and really focus in on racial equity and, again, the history of racial exclusion in this country. And the way that even these institutions themselves have benefitted from—again, from slave labor, from the slave trade, from building their endowments at a time of racial segregation, at a time where there were very few, if any, students of color on their campuses. And then, legacy benefits that sort of continue that sort of intergenerational racial exclusion. FASKIANOS: Great. And Beverly Lindsay has suggested Beverly Daniel Tatum’s book, Why Do All the Black Kids Sit Together in the Cafeteria. Just want to share that resource. We are at the end of time, if you want to just make any final remarks before we close. WARIKOO: Yeah. I mean, I guess I’ll just say that I think it’s important to pay attention to admissions, but I also have started to think much more broadly about DEI and higher education. And I think we need to also look well-beyond these, sort of, selective colleges. Most colleges in the United States are not selective, right? And, you know, we’ve heard from folks from of those colleges. And, we need to—when we look at the endowment per pupil at some of these selective colleges, compared to—and what they’re doing for social mobility compared to, I’m sure, like the college in Miami, community colleges, open access state colleges. I think we just need a lot more supports for those colleges that are engines of social mobility. And, again, if we think about the mission of higher education and how we, as Americans, see how we want to—sort of, what kind of society we want to be, I think it’s incredibly important to look also beyond admissions. So I’ll leave it at that. FASKIANOS: Thank you. Thank you, Natasha Warikoo. We appreciate it. We look forward to reading your forthcoming book. And to everybody taking the time to participate and for your great questions and comments. Again, this is a forum to exchange ideas and best practices. So we loved hearing your comments as well. So our next higher education webinar will be on Tuesday, April 19, at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time with Tony Allen, president of Delaware State University. We’ll talk about the role of HBCUs in the United States. So please look out for that invitation. And in the meantime, I encourage you to follow us at @CFR_academic, visit CFR.org, ForeignAffairs.com, and ThinkGlobalHealth.org for more resources. I look forward to communing again. And thank you, Natasha. WARIKOO: Thanks for having me. (END)