Press Release: Neo-Segregation at Yale

NAS

New York, NY (April 29, 2019) — The National Association of Scholars has released a report on how Yale University segregates students by race. The report finds that racial segregation is an essential part of Yale’s student recruitment, admissions, orientation, counseling, academic programs, curriculum, graduation, and alumni activities. The only major part of Yale not subject to some form of racial segregation is residence life. Students of different races share the same residence halls.

Dion J. Pierre, the report’s primary author, said, “Yale is important as one of the originators of neo-segregation in America. Yale laid the basis for this new form of racial segregation in the 1960s and has abided its growth in the decades after. This standard at Yale has become normal for students of color at many other colleges and universities.”

“Neo-segregation” is the report’s term for racial segregation that colleges present as voluntary on the part of the students. Colleges strongly favor such segregation and work hard to convince minority students to play along. “The voluntary character of such segregation is an illusion,” said Pierre. “Minority students are cajoled and bribed to participate and often alienated if they don’t.”

The Yale study is part of a larger and ongoing NAS project, “Separate but Equal, Again: Neo-Segregation in American Higher Education.” The NAS has also posted a database of neo-segregation at 173 other colleges and universities, and plans to release further case studies studying the spread and growth of segregationist efforts at other prestigious institutions.

Peter Wood, president of the NAS and co-author of the Yale report, explained, “In 2017, Harvard University held its first black-only graduation ceremony. We wondered how many other colleges and universities had such segregated events. What we discovered was that all-black graduations were the tip of the iceberg. Yale began to segregate black students in 1967, a year after admitting its first substantial group of black students. Since then, year by year, Yale has carried racial segregation further and further. This explains many of Yale’s controversies in recent years, including the infamous Halloween costume affair in 2015.”

The database shows that almost half of American colleges and universities in the study host racially segregated residence halls and nearly three-quarters have segregated graduation ceremonies. Nearly all colleges and universities offer segregated clubs for students.

Wood explained, “Neo-segregation harms the students it pretends to protect. The real danger that faces minority students is being locked up in their fear of everyone else. Higher education should liberate them from this fear and give them the freedom to be full participants in American society. Neo-segregation is a disguised form of political oppression.”

NAS is a network of scholars and citizens united by a commitment to academic freedom, disinterested scholarship, and excellence in American higher education. Membership in NAS is open to all who share a commitment to these broad principles. NAS publishes a journal and has state and regional affiliates. Visit NAS at www.nas.org.

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If you would like more information about this issue, please contact Chance Layton at 917-551-6770, or email layton@nas.org.

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