Political Activist Ward Connerly Speaks on Racial Equality in Higher Education

Political activist Ward Connerly said he makes “no apology for saying that I am a guy who belongs to the camp of color-blindness.” In a Wednesday lecture hosted by the Cornell Republicans, the former University of California regent spoke on the future of racial preferences in higher education. Connerly gained national attention in the 1990s when he served on the University of California’s governing board and led controversial efforts to dismantle affirmative action policies in University admissions. His initiative led to a statewide ballot measure that prohibited all state governmental institutions from considering race, sex or ethnicity with regards to employment, contracting and education. Connerly later led similar successful efforts in Michigan, Washington, Arizona, Nebraska and Oklahoma. According to Connerly, he felt uncomfortable with the way the University used race in admission policies, giving preferences to underrepresented minorities through affirmative action.