Cultivating Inclusion

8 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2014 Last revised: 25 Dec 2014

See all articles by Patrick S. Shin

Patrick S. Shin

Suffolk University Law School

Mitu Gulati

University of Virginia School of Law

Date Written: February 4, 2014


In this symposium essay in honor of critical race theory stalwart Mari Matsuda, we discuss two of her essays on affirmative action, "Affirmative Action and Legal Knowledge: Planting Seeds in Plowed-Up Ground" and "Who is Excellent?" We draw on the insights of these essays, one written almost twenty-five years ago and the other over a decade ago, to reflect on currently prevailing justifications for affirmative action, which revolve entirely around debates about diversity. We contrast the production of racial diversity with the more robust concept of affirmative action that Matsuda advocated. We argue that the modern diversity rationale lies at some distance from her arguments, but that we have good reason to reorient affirmative action to keep her original position in view, even as it continues to move forward.

Keywords: affirmative action, discrimination, diversity

JEL Classification: J7

Suggested Citation

Shin, Patrick S. and Gulati, Mitu, Cultivating Inclusion (February 4, 2014). Michigan Law Review First Impressions, Vol. 112, p. 117, 2014, USC Law Legal Studies Paper No. 14-1, Suffolk University Law School Research Paper No. 14-4, Available at SSRN: or

Patrick S. Shin (Contact Author)

Suffolk University Law School ( email )

120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108-4977
United States
617-573-8182 (Phone)
617-305-3090 (Fax)

Mitu Gulati

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

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