Open Dialogue Visiting Fellow Melissa Harris-Perry to join panel discussion on equity, post-affirmative action decision

Vanderbilt University’s Open Dialogue Visiting Fellows program is set to host a panel discussion on equity and dialogue in the aftermath of affirmative action on Wednesday, Jan. 31, at 2 p.m. in the Central Library’s Community Room. The event will feature distinguished professor and media commentator Melissa Harris-Perry.  

This discussion will examine the implications of the Supreme Court’s recent decision to ban affirmative action in college admissions. Melissa Harris-Perry, the Maya Angelou Presidential Chair at Wake Forest University, will lead the conversation, addressing the challenges and opportunities in fostering diversity and inclusion within higher education. 

Harris-Perry, an award-winning author and founder of the Anna Julia Cooper Center, brings a wealth of experience to the conversation. Attendees can expect a thought-provoking exploration of the consequences of the Supreme Court’s decision and insights into shaping a more equitable future for higher education in America. A reception will follow the event, providing an opportunity for further engagement and dialogue. 

About Open Dialogue Visiting Fellows 

 The Open Dialogue Visiting Fellows program at Vanderbilt University—a new series to equip students for engaged and informed citizenship in a fractured world—launched on campus in fall 2023 through a collaboration between Vanderbilt and the Stanton Foundation. 

Through the program, Vanderbilt will host a cohort of thought leaders with competing and sometimes conflicting views on policy issues and social problems. These visitors will engage with students, faculty, the public and each other to model reasoned, evidence-based civil debate. 

The fellows are part of the Dialogue Vanderbilt initiative which provides a range of programs to students, faculty and the public that promote civil discourse and help them better understand and address political polarization. 

The Open Dialogue Visiting Fellows program is directed by John Geer, a senior advisor to the chancellor on key strategic initiatives that promote democracy, free expression and open dialogue; Sarah Igo, the Andrew Jackson Professor of American History, dean of strategic initiatives for the College of Arts and Science, and professor of history, political science and law; and Jonathan Metzl, holder of the Frederick B. Rentschler II Chair, professor of sociology, of history, of medicine, health and society, and of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and chair of the Department of Medicine, Health and Society.