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Updated 12:30 PM February 14, 2007




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  LSA John Rawls Collegiate Professorship in Philosophy and Women's Studies
Lecture to focus on need for integration

With the U.S. Supreme Court weighing the fate of two voluntary school integration programs in Seattle and Louisville, and the court's 2003 Grutter v. Bollinger decision affirming the value of diversity hanging in the balance, understanding the value of integration is crucial, says Elizabeth Anderson.
(Photo by J. Adrian Wylie)

The passage of Proposal 2 in Michigan, banning the consideration of gender and race in public institutions, and the war in Iraq also underscore the value of integration, she says.

Anderson, who conducts research in value, democratic and feminist theory, with an emphasis on the interactions of social science with moral and political theory, will discuss the growing need for integration at 4:10 p.m. Feb. 15 in the Founders Room of the Alumni Association, when she delivers the inaugural lecture of LSA, and the Arts John Rawls Collegiate Professorship in Philosophy and Women's Studies. Her lecture is titled "The Imperative of Integration: Race and Education."

"The advocates of Proposal 2 think once we get rid of conscious discrimination that everything will be fair," says Anderson, the John Rawls Collegiate Professor of Philosophy and Women's Studies. "But we know from social psychology that most discrimination happens unconsciously. I am not advocating that we break the law. But because the extent of segregation in Michigan is already higher than the rest of the country, we have a greater imperative to do something.

"The nation's schools must be comprehensively integrated from kindergarten through college to prepare effective leaders for the future," Anderson says. "We are at a crucial time in our country. We are at serious risk of turning back the clock, not to overt racial hatred, but to more de facto segregation than we currently have."

In Iraq, the lack of diplomats who speak Arabic also illustrates the value of a society that emphasizes diversity, Anderson says. "America is making decisions that impact people around the world, so it is all the more important we learn about their societies—not just from textbooks.

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