Gary Orfield is the Professor of Education, Law, Political Science and Urban Planning at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Orfield's research interests are in the study of civil rights, education policy, urban policy, and minority opportunity. He was co-founder and director of the Harvard Civil Rights Project, and now serves as co-director of the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA.

Founded in 1996 by former Harvard professors Gary Orfield and Christopher Edley, Jr., the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles is now co-directed by Orfield and Patricia Gándara, professors at UCLA. Its mission is to create a new generation of research in social science and law, on the critical issues of civil rights and equal opportunity for racial and ethnic groups in the United States.  The U.S. Supreme Court, in its 2003 Grutter v. Bollinger decision upholding affirmative action, and in Justice Breyer’s dissent (joined by three other Justices) to its 2007 Parents Involved in Community Schools decision, cited the Civil Rights Project’s research.

Source: photo and text:

Before Brown: Heman Marion Sweatt, Thurgood Marshall and the Long Road to Justice

"The Sweatt Decision"

Posted by Gary Orfield , Professor at UCLA on September 8, 2010 at 10:45am EDT on

The Sweatt decision offered a deeper analysis of segregation and integration in some important respects than Brown. Because the judges were very familiar with the operations of the legal profession the decision emphasized the lifelong impacts of the networks and understandings formed through sharing education in schools with excellent professors, powerful reputations, and links to future opportunities. Brown tended to put more emphasis on the psychological impacts of segregation. The networking and persistence issues became important in desegregation research since the l970s and are, in many ways, more important than test score data in understanding the damage caused by segregation and the transformative opportunities created by integration. It's great to have a new book from someone who has played an important role himself in preserving diversity in the nation's second largest state.


Heman Sweatt, Thurgood Marshall and the Long Road To Justice

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