Gary Orfield

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Gary Orfield is professor of education, law, political science and urban planning at UCLA. He "was professor of education and social policy at the Harvard University from 1991-2007. Orfield is interested in the study of civil rights, education policy, urban policy, and minority opportunity. He is cofounder and co-director of the Civil Rights Project (founded at Harvard and moved to UCLA in 2007), an initiative that is developing and publishing a new generation of research on multiracial civil rights issues. Orfield's central interest is the development and implementation of social policy, with a central focus on the impact of policy on equal opportunity for success in American society. Recent books include Dropouts in America", "School Resegregation: Must the South Turn Back" (with John Boger), "Twenty-First Century Color Lines" (with Andrew Grant-Thomas, and "Lessons in Integration" (with Erica Frankenberg) and annual reports on the status of school segregation in the United States which can be found at In addition to his scholarly work, Orfield has been involved with development of governmental policy. He has participated as an expert witness of a court-appointed expert in several dozen civil rights cases, including the University of Michigan Supreme Court case that upheld the policy of affirmative action in 2003 citing his book, DIVERSITY CHALLENGED, and he has been called to give testimony in civil rights suits by the U.S. Department of Justice and many civil rights, legal services, and educational organizations. In 1997, Orfield was awarded the American Political Science Association's Charles Merriam Award for his "contribution to the art of government through the application of social science research." He is a member of the National Academy of Education and serves on several editorial boards. A native Minnesotan, Orfield received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and travels annually to Latin America, where his research work is now expanding."

  • Social Science Advisory Board, PRRAC [1]

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  1. About, PRRAC, accessed July 8, 2007.