Insider: MLK events to include day of service and discussion

January 18, 2013 9:00 AM

Alicia Duplessis Jasmin

The impact of Fisher v. University of Texas, an affirmative action case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court, will be the focus of a panel discussion during the 27th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Week for Peace co-sponsored by Tulane, Loyola, Dillard and Xavier universities.


As part of the MLK Convocation on Tuesday (Jan. 22) at 6:30 p.m. in the Georges Auditorium of Dillard University, panel members will consider on the topic, “The Continuing Need for Affirmative Action in a Diverse America.”

Fisher, a white female applicant who was denied admission to the University of Texas–Austin, alleges that the university’s affirmative action admissions policy unfairly played a role in her denial. The outcome of the Fisher case could change the ability to use race as a factor in admissions procedures at public universities.

Carolyn Barber-Pierre, vice-president for student affairs and intercultural life at Tulane, says that the removal of affirmative action in higher education admission policies could be devastating.

“This is a pressing issue facing higher education institutions and it could mean the end of affirmative action,” says Barber-Pierre, who is part of the MLK week planning committee. “We decided to create this panel to discuss what this means. Our panelists will be able to offer legal, political and higher education views.”

The evening’s moderator is Tulane professor of political science and MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry.

The week’s other activities include an Presidential inauguration watch party on Monday (Jan. 21), an interfaith service on Wednesday (Jan. 23), a unity step-show on Friday (Jan. 25) and a day of service on Saturday (Jan. 26).

Times, locations and registration for MLK Week for Peace events can be found at www.mlkweek4peace.com.

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