College of Education > News and Publications > News: Jan. - March 2012 > Civil Rights Advocate Orfield to Deliver Lecture on April 19

Civil Rights Advocate Orfield to Deliver Lecture on April 19

Gary Orfield, co-founder and director of The Civil Rights Project at UCLA, will present a lecture April 19 at Penn State.

When: Apr 19, 2012 from 05:00 PM to 07:00 PM

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by Joe Savrock (March 2012)

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Gary Orfield, co-founder and director of The Civil Rights Project at the University of California, Los Angeles—America's leading research center on issues of civil rights and racial inequality—will deliver a lecture on April 19 at 5:00 p.m. in the Lewis Katz Building on Penn State’s University Park campus.

Orfield_sml_cpFounded in 1996, The Civil Rights Project provides needed intellectual capital to academics, policy makers, and civil rights advocates. The project has commissioned more than 400 studies and 15 books.

Orfield’s presentation, titled “Fisher v. University of Texas: Implications for Educational Access for Students of Color,” is free and open to the public. The lecture should be of particular interest to sociologists as well as attorneys specializing in civil rights issues.

“Professor Orfield is a giant in the civil rights movement,” said Preston C. Green, the Harry L. Batschelet II chair professor of educational administration and professor of education and law.

Green noted that he often cites Orfield's work in his own scholarship. “Orfield’s work, which is at the nexus of civil rights and education policy in this country, has contributed to lasting improvements in educational opportunities for minority students," said Green. "And he is tireless in identifying and rooting out systemic inequities. We're very excited to welcome him to Penn State."

Orfield, an expert on the impact of policy on equal opportunity for success in America, has served as an expert witness in several dozen court cases, including the University of Michigan case that upheld the policy of affirmative action. He also has helped develop government policy and has given testimony in civil rights suits brought by the United States Department of Justice and other organizations.

Orfield has been awarded the American Political Science Association’s Charles Merriam Award (1977) and the Social Justice in Education Award by the American Educational Research Association (2007). His published works include Dropouts in America: Confronting the Graduation Rate Crisis; School Resegregation: Must the South Turn Back? (with John Boger) and Higher Education and the Color Line (with Patricia Marin and Catherine Horn).

In December 2011, Orfield received an honorary doctor of humane letters from Penn State. He holds a doctorate from the University of Chicago and a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Minnesota.