Institutional racism, White supremacy and anti-Black attitudes fuel underrepresentation of Black students on college and university campuses across the United States, with access a battle constantly being waged in legal courts and the court of public opinion, according to an academic who addressed the 58th annual meeting of the Council of Graduate Schools this week.

But there is hope because today’s students appear determined to hold institutions of higher learning to their promises to live up to their stated ideals regarding diversity and access, said Dr. Walter Allen, the Allan Murray Carter Professor of Higher Education and Distinguished Professor of Education, Sociology and African-American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“Anti-Black sentiments are major drivers in inequality, enrollment and degree completion in higher education,” Allen told the gathering’s 700 attendees from 13 nations and five continents at a plenary in an Omni Shoreham ballroom.

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