U.S. needs new inspiration to keep its doors open

Vice President for Equity and Inclusion Yvette Alex-Assensoh
Vice President for Equity and Inclusion Yvette Alex-Assensoh

In just 50 years, the United States went from a nation that too often spurned minorities and some immigrants to one that offered them a chance at the American dream, but that progress is in danger, writes UO Vice President for Equity and Inclusion Yvette Alex-Assensoh.

In an op-ed on the website of Diverse: Issues In Higher Education, Alex-Assensoh looks at some of the landmark pieces of legislation that helped people of color, non-European immigrants and other marginalized people come to the U.S., add their diversity and energy and become part of the nation’s social fabric. Some of those laws include the Voting Rights Act, the Higher Education Act and the Hart-Celler Act, which changed certain immigration rules.

But now, Alex-Assensoh writes, those advances are in jeopardy from the current political climate. To counter that, a new generation of grass-roots activists is needed to help preserve past advances and push for future change, she said.

“Just 50 years ago, the U.S. civil rights movement and student activism across the country inspired the legislation that transformed America for the better,” Alex-Assensoh writes. “The current legislative gridlock suggests that our political leaders are in need of inspiration from the heart of America, perhaps from The Movement for Black Lives, student activism on college campuses or something that is yet to come.”

For the full article, see “50 Years of Access in Jeopardy” in Diverse: Issues In Higher Education