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Undermining Racial Justice: How One University Embraced Inclusion and Inequality

Book Discussion with Matthew Johnson (Texas Tech University) Moderated by Angela Dillard (University of Michigan)
Tuesday, October 6, 2020
4:00-5:00 PM
In Undermining Racial Justice, Matthew Johnson (Texas Tech University) contends that over the last sixty years, administrators on college campuses nationwide have responded to black campus activists by making racial inclusion and inequality compatible.

Focusing on the University of Michigan, Johnson argues that U-M leaders incorporated black student dissent selectively into the institution's policies, practices, and values. This strategy was used to prevent activism from disrupting the institutional priorities that campus leaders deemed more important than racial justice. As Johnson illustrates, inclusion has always been a secondary priority, and, as a result, the policies of the late 1970s and 1980s ushered in a new and enduring era of racial retrenchment on campuses nationwide.

Join the author for a discussion of Undermining Racial Justice: How One University Embraced Inclusion and Inequality. Angela Dillard (University of Michigan) will serve as interlocutor.

Matthew Johnson is associate professor of history at Texas Tech University. He is currently an American Council of Learned Societies Fellow working on a book about the impact of urban campus police forces on Black communities and students.

Angela Dillard is the Richard A. Meisler Collegiate Professor of Afroamerican and African Studies, History, and in the Residential College. She specializes in American and African American intellectual history, particularly around issues of race, religion, and politics—on both the Left and the Right sides of the political spectrum—and maintains an active interest in urban studies.

Free and open to the public. This is a remote event and will take place online via Zoom. Please register in advance here:

This event is presented by the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies. It is made possible by a generous contribution from Kenneth and Frances Aftel Eisenberg.
Building: Off Campus Location
Location: Virtual
Event Link:
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: African American, Discussion, Diversity, Diversity Equity and Inclusion, History
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies, Department of History

The Thursday Series is the core of the institute's scholarly program, hosting distinguished guests who examine methodological, analytical, and theoretical issues in the field of history. 

The Friday Series consists mostly of panel-style workshops highlighting U-M graduate students. On occasion, events may include lectures, seminars, or other programs presented by visiting scholars.

The insitute also hosts other historical programming, including lectures, film screenings, author appearances, and similar events aimed at a broader public audience.