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For Students of Color, Is Fitting In as Important as Getting In?

Wednesday June 19 2024 • 3:10am - 3:10am ET

Khary Lazarre-White and Cassandra Freeman in The Greene Space

From the Ivy League to the most prestigious state universities and HBCUs, students of color have been speaking out about the unexpected challenges they’ve encountered in the academic and, just as important, the non-academic aspects of college life.

The African American six-year college graduation rate hovers around only 40%, compared to 65% overall. Minority students are getting in to elite colleges and receiving grants and scholarships to make attendance possible, but upon arriving, they often feel unprepared. The cultural differences and marginalization felt by students of color are still huge impediments to success.

What can we do to close the achievement gap, what needs to change and who must play a role? On December 1, WNYC and the Jackie Robinson Foundation convened students, educators and professionals for an interactive conversation live in The Greene Space about race, higher education and the challenges student of color face on campus today.

Actress and writer Cassandra Freeman moderated the discussion with guests:

  • Dr. Yohuru Williams, History Department Chair and Director of Black Studies at Fairfield University
  • Khary Lazarre-White, writer, attorney and Executive Director of The Brotherhood/Sister Sol
  • Riley Jones, a Columbia University student and current Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholar
  • Joy Profet, General Manager of Essence magazine and a past Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholar.

Continue the conversation. Below, check out our Storify of the discussion, watch on-demand video and weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments or on Twitter with #EduGap.

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