Critical race theory is spelled out in a word cloud, which also shows closely related words.

Critical Race Theory in Higher Education

“Free-speech” advocates are pushing to cancel courses related to race. Non-tenured college faculty of color disproportionately are carrying the burden of this activism. ProPublica’s Daniel Golden discusses his coverage of these issues, including his trip to Florida to see how the “Stop Woke Act” is playing out on college campuses. (EWA Radio Episode 314)

Photo credits: Sozelmel/Bigstock, Claudio Papapietro

Critical race theory has gotten a lot of attention in the K-12 space, but how do debates about systemic racism play out in higher education?

Daniel Golden is a senior editor and reporter at ProPublica. He won a Pulitzer Prize and EWA’s Fred M. Hechinger Grand Prize (twice!). Daniel also wrote several books, including “The Price of Admission: How America’s Ruling Class Buys Its Way Into Elite Colleges — and Who Gets Left Outside the Gates,”  “Spy Schools: How the CIA, FBI, and Foreign Intelligence Secretly Exploit America’s Universities” and “The Ransomware Hunting Team.”

Daniel recently traveled to Florida to see how the “Stop Woke Act” is playing out on college campuses. He found that Gov. Ron DeSantis’ efforts are having a chilling effect in higher education, with professors canceling classes on race due to fear of retribution. 

“Of the 39 courses offered this past fall by [the Sociology department at the University of Central Florida], none focused primarily on race,” he discovered. This department specializes in the study of human society. 

In this week’s episode, we chat with Daniel about how non-tenured faculty of color disproportionately carry the burden of anti-CRT activism. He also explains why university leaders are mostly keeping quiet and discusses the irony of “free-speech” advocates pushing to cancel certain courses.

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