Two Steps Removed: The Paradox of Diversity Discourse for Women of Color in Law Teaching
Donna E. Young
Albany Law School
Berkeley Women's Law Journal, Vol. 11, p. 270, 1996
In this article, Professor Young examines the effects of diversity discourse on the teaching experience of women of color law professors. She argues that some of the most common arguments in favor of faculty diversity (that increasing faculty diversity provides positive role models, increases sensitivity to racial bias, provides resources for majority faculty members to learn about race and gender issues, and offers diverse perspectives and a more inclusive curriculum) are driven by the interests of the majority but often conflict with the professional interests of women and people of color who enter the academy. The result is that diversity discourse may actually undermine the interests of faculty of color in being considered competent professionals in their particular areas of expertise and may lead to unreasonable expectations that make teaching particularly demanding. Nonetheless, Young argues that diversity does enhance the educational enterprise but requires more than improved faculty statistics. It demands an institutional commitment to celebrate differences, strive for integration, and reject assimilation.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 20
Keywords: diversity discourse, faculty of color
Date posted: March 29, 2010