Leaders of Color Washington DC Policy Town Hall

Studies reveal that students from marginalized communities face disproportionate barriers to higher education. To dismantle those barriers and create a level playing field, Leaders of Color works with students, families, educators, and policymakers to discuss ways to create more pathways to higher education for Black and Latinx students. On June 26, 2023, the Leaders of Color-Washington D.C. 2023 class gathered key policymakers, education stakeholders, and community members for a policy town hall at Friendship Public Charter School. More than 60 Leaders of Color partners, allies, and organizations working for educational equity across racial groups joined our Leaders of Color-Washington D.C. program fellows and alumni for a discussion focused on legacy preference in college admissions. This panel discussion, moderated by White House Correspondent Ebony McMorris, took a deep dive in highlighting the barriers youth face on their journey to higher education attainment.

Legacy preference in college admissions creates a two-tier admissions system, in which Black and Latinx students are passed over in favor of students whose family members have attended higher education institutions. The impact of legacy preferences tends to be strongest at wealthy universities and colleges that enroll a sliver of all college students and an even smaller sliver of underrepresented students. More information about the impact of legacy admissions and recommendations are available in this report from James Murphy, Senior Policy Analyst, Education Reform Now.

Leaders of Color thanks the panelists for their time and expertise::

  • Ebony McMorris - White House Correspondent
  • Hassana Bolde - Howard University Student
  • Dustin Pickett - Director of Multicultural Student Services Center, George Washington University
  • Cristina Lynch - Assistant Dean/Director, Trinity University
  • Thomas Hailu - College Access Director, College Track
  • Jamakkah Thompson - College Track Student

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