The Voices of Diversity: What Students of Diverse Races/Ethnicities and Both Sexes Tell Us About Their College Experiences and Their Perceptions About their Institutions’ Progress Toward Diversity

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The Voices of Diversity project’s goal was to explore which experiences of students of color and women students on campuses of predominantly white institutions make them feel welcomed, accepted, supported, and encouraged, and which make them feel the opposite. This was to address (1) the frequent claim that African American and Latino/a students’ lower graduation rates are unrelated to anything that transpires on campus and (2) the increased subtlety of many expressions of bias against members of historically mistreated groups. At each institution, between 51 and 54 students of color participated, as well as three white women and three white men, each completing a questionnaire about demographic information and campus experiences and being interviewed about what has been helpful and hurtful to them on campus. Manifestations of racism, sexism, and the two combined were reported on all campuses in both overt and microaggression forms. Recommendations for change were made in individual reports to each institution, and at one, major changes were made immediately and ongoing, and at another, work was begun on comprehensive action plans.

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