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Two Steps Removed: The Paradox of Diversity Discourse for Women of Color in Law Teaching

Berkeley Women's Law Journal, Vol. 11, p. 270, 1996

20 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2010  

Donna E. Young

Albany Law School

Date Written: 1996

Abstract

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.

Keywords: diversity discourse, faculty of color

Suggested Citation

Young, Donna E., Two Steps Removed: The Paradox of Diversity Discourse for Women of Color in Law Teaching (1996). Berkeley Women's Law Journal, Vol. 11, p. 270, 1996. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1577726

Donna E. Young (Contact Author)

Albany Law School ( email )

80 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, NY 12208
United States

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