Keeping On Keeping On: OCR and Complaints of Racial Discrimination 50 Years After Brown
by Mica Pollock — 2005
This article, written by a former civil rights investigator in the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR), contends that ordinary Americans advocating for equal educational opportunity for students of color might enlist OCR more actively and knowingly to help secure racial equality of opportunity 50 years after Brown. Now a scholar of racial inequality in education, the author shows that OCR's original purpose of rooting out racial discrimination in federally funded educational programs has been both hampered by hostile administrations and eclipsed by nonrace casework in the years since OCR's inception. The author argues that to successfully enlist OCR's civil rights tools today, complainants must arrive at OCR with as much concrete evidence of racial harm as possible and be ready to navigate some core disputes over defining and investigating racial discrimination in the current era.
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