Sunday, March 21, 2010

Labor Secretary speaks at CFA Equity Conference

As I have commented elsewhere, affirmative action isn't dead in California, it's just manifested differently since Proposition 209 passed. Any entity (like our very large public university systems) desiring federal dollars will comply with federal affirmative action requirements, but some will be more public about it than others.

The above is to set the context for the fact that U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis spoke yesterday to an arm of the California Faculty Association (Cal State's faculty union). The assembled Council for Affirmative Action welcomed her with open arms at our 2010 Equity Conference. (Full disclosure: I'm not a member of the council, just one of many faculty members who attended.)

If you think she just swung by because she had Saturday morning free, I have a bridge to sell you. My take is, she wanted to come anyway, but I bet the March 4 Day of Action with its thousands of participants got some people's attention. Solis was the right person to send, as she is a graduate of the Cal State system, she's from a low-income background, and benefited from a Pell Grant, an Equal Opportunity Program, and more. And she wouldn't be where she is if certain doors had remained closed.

I'll update this with some video I shot after I check it.

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