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Google’s Dr. Kamau Bobb: Affirmative Action Is About Justice, Not Just Diversity

Racial justice has always been a charged subject in U.S. politics, and it's always had its champions. The recent SCOTUS ruling rejecting race-conscious admissions in higher education is one more chapter in this long history, and Google’s Dr. Kamau Bobb isn't going to let it go unanswered. As the founding Senior Director of the Constellations Center for Equity in Computing at Georgia Tech, as well as the Director of STEM Education Strategy at Google, Dr. Bobb is uniquely positioned to advocate for equitable access to education in the U.S.

Dr. Bobb sees more at risk than just the diversity at the heart of the SCOTUS decision on higher education admissions. "The SCOTUS decision to ban the consideration of race in higher ed is happening in combination with state laws banning books and comprehensive examinations of American history," Dr. Bobb points out, and asks, "What will happen to critical reflection and justice when the next generation of American students is being banned from knowing why they're necessary in the first place?"

His background gives him a unique sensitivity to the historical significance of the decision. Dr. Bobb’s story on Saporta Report says, "I am a child of Black immigrants from Guyana. I was born in New York in 1972, less than ten years after the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. I am a member of the first generation of Black people in American history born with full legal rights everywhere in the nation."

Dr. Bobb sees the failure of U.S. education to achieve equity as the direct consequence of historic oppression and structural injustice that has never been fully addressed. His work focuses on building an equitable approach to STEM education, which is one key to social justice. According to Dr. Bobb, education is a cornerstone of modern citizenship, and all Americans should have equitable access to it, which is much more complicated than mere diversity in admissions. 

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However, the U.S. Supreme Court has decided against one of the most important tools for the work of social justice in higher education, and that alone isn't enough to stop the long work toward equitable access. Dr. Bobb remains committed. As one of the more influential advocates working toward justice, this promise has teeth. 

He's served as a Program Officer at the National Science Foundation, where he worked to make sure that equitable, high-quality computing education is available to students nationwide. He also worked with the Obama Administration's Office of Science and Technology Policy to help devise a nationwide strategy for secondary and post-secondary schools. Recently, Dr. Kamau Bobb was elected to the Spelman College Board of Trustees, where his commitment to equitable education will have a powerful influence.

As one of the foremost voices for equity in education, Dr. Kamau Bobb wants to make it clear that diversity is not the sole objective of affirmative action. Instead, the larger goal is justice. For more information about Dr. Kamau Bobb and his work, see www.cc.gatech.edu/people/kamau-bobb.


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Racial justice has always been a charged subject in U.S. politics, and it's always had its champions. The recent SCOTUS ruling rejecting race-conscious admissions in higher education is one more chapter in this long history, and Google’s Dr. Kamau Bobb isn't going to let it go unanswered. As the founding Senior Director of the Constellations Center for Equity in Computing at Georgia Tech, as well as the Director of STEM Education Strategy at Google, Dr. Bobb is uniquely positioned to advocate for equitable access to education in the U.S.

Dr. Bobb sees more at risk than just the diversity at the heart of the SCOTUS decision on higher education admissions. "The SCOTUS decision to ban the consideration of race in higher ed is happening in combination with state laws banning books and comprehensive examinations of American history," Dr. Bobb points out, and asks, "What will happen to critical reflection and justice when the next generation of American students is being banned from knowing why they're necessary in the first place?"

His background gives him a unique sensitivity to the historical significance of the decision. Dr. Bobb’s story on Saporta Report says, "I am a child of Black immigrants from Guyana. I was born in New York in 1972, less than ten years after the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. I am a member of the first generation of Black people in American history born with full legal rights everywhere in the nation."

Dr. Bobb sees the failure of U.S. education to achieve equity as the direct consequence of historic oppression and structural injustice that has never been fully addressed. His work focuses on building an equitable approach to STEM education, which is one key to social justice. According to Dr. Bobb, education is a cornerstone of modern citizenship, and all Americans should have equitable access to it, which is much more complicated than mere diversity in admissions. 

Sponsored
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However, the U.S. Supreme Court has decided against one of the most important tools for the work of social justice in higher education, and that alone isn't enough to stop the long work toward equitable access. Dr. Bobb remains committed. As one of the more influential advocates working toward justice, this promise has teeth. 

He's served as a Program Officer at the National Science Foundation, where he worked to make sure that equitable, high-quality computing education is available to students nationwide. He also worked with the Obama Administration's Office of Science and Technology Policy to help devise a nationwide strategy for secondary and post-secondary schools. Recently, Dr. Kamau Bobb was elected to the Spelman College Board of Trustees, where his commitment to equitable education will have a powerful influence.

As one of the foremost voices for equity in education, Dr. Kamau Bobb wants to make it clear that diversity is not the sole objective of affirmative action. Instead, the larger goal is justice. For more information about Dr. Kamau Bobb and his work, see www.cc.gatech.edu/people/kamau-bobb.


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