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Diversity scholar Shaun R. Harper to speak at ‘Love Over Hate’ lecture

The 90-minute lecture will focus on inclusivity and equality on campus. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

Scholar and racial equity expert Shaun R. Harper is scheduled to speak at the Marshall Student Center Oval Theater on March 2 from noon-1:30 p.m. 

In collaboration with the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Center for Student Involvement and the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement, Harper will discuss the challenge and need for “fostering and sustaining an inclusive campus climate.”

Love Over Hate is a program from the Dean of Students Office that aims to foster inclusivity and increase respective dialogue among USF students, according to its website. Harper is the program’s first lecturer since its inception in November 2018.

A professor at the Rossier School of Education and Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California (USC), Harper dedicates his career to promoting equality and inclusion in education. 

Harper “studies racial, gender and LGBT issues in corporations, law firms, Hollywood production companies, K-12 schools and universities,” according to the USC website.  

In 2011, Harper launched the Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education (CSREE) at the University of Pennsylvania with the goal of creating an interdisciplinary hub where faculty could research ways to improve equity in social contexts, regardless of education level. 

Over the course of six years, CSREE brought workshops and professional learning activities to teachers and leaders in schools and districts across the United States. 

Harper and three other researchers moved from the University of Pennsylvania to USC in July 2017 to launch the USC Race and Equity Center.

In addition to founding these centers, Harper has written 12 books on improving the climates of American school systems. Some of his more prominent books are “Students of Color in STEM: New Directions for Institutional Research” and “Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Higher Education.” 

Harper has also published over 100 peer-reviewed journals and other academic publications, according to the Association of American Colleges and Universities website.

His work has been featured 11,000 times by media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Fortune. His main research involves equity trends, climate issues on college campuses and black and Latino male success in high schools and in higher education.

“On most predominantly white campuses, people of color are overwhelmingly represented in food service, grounds keeping, custodial roles and fairly low-paid secretarial roles,” Harper said in a 2017 interview with The New York Times. “They are tragically underrepresented among tenured faculty members, deans, provosts and presidents, people who are in power.”

Harper said it was important to encourage diversity commitments in universities while also holding them accountable. 

“I wanted to call attention to both the problems and the opportunities,” he said. “When I say the opportunities, I mean the opportunity to actually force higher education institutions to follow through on their commitment to diversity. 

“I want students to hold their universities accountable for making good on the promises that are found in mission statements and elsewhere about commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and so on.”