“From Affirmative Action to Diversity in Higher Education” by James S. Jackson

>>Welcome. My name is Tabbye Chavous,
and I am the director of the University’s
National Center for Institutional Diversity. We are thrilled to be able
to cohost this event together with the Office for
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. We’re so glad to see so
many of you here today for the inaugural distinguished
diversity scholar career award lecture. This award recognizes
Dr. James Jackson for his critical
scholarly contributions to understanding the life
and health experiences of black Americans, as well
as his unwavering commitment to mentoring and
promoting the careers of generations of researchers. For those of you who were at the
symposium events earlier today, I’m sure you will agree that
it was really impressive to see the far-reaching impact
that James’s work has had on scholarship relevant
to enhancing diversity, equity inclusion in
our broader society. Before we get started
with our official program, I want to acknowledge
units and individuals that have played key roles
in organizing this day. First, I recognize leaders
from the program for research on black Americans of
including Cleopatra Caldwell, Robert Taylor, and
Woody Neighbors. I also recognize the College
of Literature, Science, and the Arts, the Institute
for Social Research, the School of Public Health,
the Department of Psychology and the Office of the Provost. Special thanks to Ellen Meader
from the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, as
well as Laura Harrington and Ching-Yune Sylvester
and Marie Ting from the National Center
for Institutional Diversity for their leadership and
coordination for today’s events. Finally, I would like to
acknowledge the support for the establishment of
this award from the offices of the president and
provost, that the University of Michigan recognizes
the importance of diversity scholarship
on the overall advancement of our institution is what
brings us all here today in celebration of James
Jackson’s life work. So thank you President
Schlissel and Provost Philbert for your support of this
award and of today’s events. I now invite to the podium
President Mark S. Schlissel. President Schlissel has been an
unwavering supporter and leader of diversity initiatives
and innovations since his arrival
at Michigan in 2014. And he has been outspoken
in his commitment to creating a more diverse,
equitable and inclusive campus in order to affect the
public and society. President Schlissel. [ Applause ]>>Thanks, Tabby, for
the kind introduction and good afternoon, everybody. I’m really thrilled
to see such a large and excited audience
for today’s talk. This is the kind of event
that we look forward to at the university
through the year. I want to thank everyone
from our National Center for Institutional Diversity and
our Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for making this
wonderful celebration possible. I also want to express
my appreciation to NCID for their weeklong
campaign earlier this month, to combat unscientific racism. [ Applause ] As we’re in a room
full of scholars, we can all appreciate the need
to call out purposeful misuse of the mantle of
academic legitimacy through the promulgation
of flawed research, intentionally misleading
interpretations and outright lies. Thankfully, today’s honoree
has spent his career producing science that is of an
unquestionable integrity and value to our society. With the Inaugural Distinguished
Diversity Scholar Career Award, we’re celebrating a colleague
who has made the university and the world a better place. James Jackson exemplifies our
highest ideals of what we strive to do as a great
research university. We seek to strengthen the
discovery and transmission of knowledge itself,
by understanding that the convergence of
students, faculty and staff from all backgrounds
leads to better research, teaching and learning. We seek to create a campus that
serves and is welcoming to all. We seek to build a
university that lives up to the highest ideals
of its public heritage. The establishment of this
award is an important component of our strategic plan
to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion. One of the plan’s
overarching strategies is to support innovative and inclusive scholarship
in teaching. Throughout the history of our
university, we’ve been proud to provide a home for scholars
who advanced our understanding of one another and of
the enormous educational and scholarly benefits
of diversity. They conducted research that provided incontrovertible
evidence to the Supreme Court and inspired generations
of students to pursue social justice on
our own campus and beyond. Today, we stand on
their shoulders, and we walk the trails they
blazed for us on the journey to a better university. The distinguished diversity
scholar career award is one way we are honoring that legacy. It’s a permanent
tribute to those who have made significant
contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion while
addressing disparities in contemporary society. Its primary goals are to help
us build a more robust body of knowledge and
teaching in these areas, to elevate this research
agenda nationally and to provide important
recognition to scholars whose work may have
been undervalued in the past. I was proud to present
Dr. Jackson with the award earlier
this month at our faculty awards dinner. This type of recognition
is crucial. Our nation and world continue
to experience horrific and tragic reminders
of the pervasiveness of hate and discrimination. Hate groups of white
supremacists have caused death and injury, and they use our
differences as human beings in an effort to justify
the empowerment of one group over another. As students and educators at a
public university and as members of a pluralistic and
free society who aspire to lead the larger world, we
have a specific obligation to uphold our most cherished
values: our shared values of mutual respect,
unity, equality and hope. We know that there’s so
much more work for us to do. Because while talented equally
distributed in our society, opportunity most
certainly is not. Next week, the University of Michigan will convene
our annual diversity summit, to come together as a community
a year after the launch of our strategic plan. This summit gives us the
opportunity to reflect on our progress and discuss the
challenges we continue to face at the U of M. Included on our
summit is the release of data from new surveys of
students, faculty and staff on the campus climate, which
also are part of our plan. Like the research of Dr.
Jackson and many others, the surveys provide
important information that we will use for good. They’ll help us assess
where we are now and better craft our
programs going forward. We know that the way
individual students, faculty and staff experience the
university too often depends on individual or
group identities. And some members of our
community do not feel welcome. This is a challenge that we are
addressing with eyes wide open and with full vigor as we
embark on our third century at the University of Michigan. We remain committed to the
belief that the University of Michigan cannot be
excellent without being diverse in the broadest sense
of the word. And our dedication to
academic excellence for the public good will remain
inseparable from our commitment to ensuring that we’re a diverse
and inclusive university. It’s now my pleasure to introduce this
afternoon’s next speaker. Rob Sellers is the Vice
Provost for Equity and Inclusion and the first chief diversity
officer in the history of the University of Michigan. His research has focused
on the role of race in the psychological lives
of African-Americans, and he’s published extensively
in the areas of racial identity, racial discrimination,
and racial socialization and their impact on
psychological well-being. Rob is also a U of M alumnus,
turning his PhD in personality and psychology here in 1990. Please help me welcome
Dr. Rob Sellers. [ Applause ]>>Thank you very much,
President Schlissel, for those wonderful remarks. And I too agree it is so
wonderful and beautiful to look out here and see so many
wonderful people here for this most wonderful
and austere occasion. I’m pleased to be here today and
to tell you just a little bit about the man we are
honoring this afternoon. James S. Jackson earned his
bachelor of science degree from Michigan State University. And we won’t hold
that against him. A masters of arts degree from
the University of Toledo, as well as a PhD
from Wayne State. He started his long and
distinguished career here at the university back in
1971 as a faculty member in the Department of Psychology. He later went on and established
the program for research on Black America in 1976. AT U of M, he has held numerous,
and I do mean numerous, administrative positions
over the years. And just to name a couple, he was the associate
dean of Rackham. I remember that because at the
time, I was a graduate student. And this is where I had to
meet him when he was my advisor to make sure I got
my dissertation done. He was also the director
for ten years of the Institute
for Social Research. James is a fellow of the
American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the
National Academy of Medicine. He is a founding member of the MacArthur Foundation
Aging Society Research Network. He is also a member of
the National Science Board and a past president
of the Society for the Psychological
Study of Social Issues, as well as the Consortium of
Social Science Association. And that’s just a few. In addition, he’s been
designated to serve on the National Institutes of
Health National Advisory Council on minority health and
health disparities. Among his many, many,
many, many honors, he has received the American
Psychiatric Association Solomon Carter Fuller award, the New
York Academy of Medicine Medal for distinguished contributions
in biomedical sciences, the American Psychological
Association award for distinguished service
to psychological sciences, and at the University
of Michigan, the Harold R. Johnson
Diversity Service award, as well as the Distinguished
Faculty Achievement award. James is internationally
recognized for his innovative research
on the influence of race on the health of
African Americans, including the development
of the National Survey of Black Americans, which is
considered the most extensive social, mental and
physical health survey of the US black population. Through the development
of this survey, as well as a later National
Survey of American Life, James and his colleagues
made a bold statement that the life experiences of
African-Americans are worthy of study in and of themselves. Previously, the overwhelming
majority of research on African-Americans took
a comparative approach in which African-Americans’
experiences were studied only in comparison with whites, and
usually in those instances, always from a deficit model. James’s approach to studying
within group variation in African-Americans
determined or demanded that African-Americans’
humanities be considered in the scientific community. It also presaged a number of
other within group examinations of traditionally
underrepresented groups in society that are much
more prevalent today. James Jackson is probably
the most important researcher with respect to the life
experiences of African-Americans in the past 100 years. His work transcends
the traditional fields of psychology, sociology, political science
and public health. It provides a rich and vibrant
picture of the strengths, challenges and functions that
characterizes the breadth of experiences of the
African-American community. In doing so, James’s work
has been foundational to our understanding of the
social determinants of health and well-being in our country and beyond, as it
relates to all. James’s vision of what
is possible has grown over the years to
include a strong desire to understand the role
of race, ethnicity and other social forces
in the lives of people of African descent,
as well as people of other backgrounds
throughout the diaspora. It is for these reasons
and many, many, many more that there could
be no more deserving person to be the first recipient
of the University of Michigan’s Distinguished
Diversity Career Scholar award. Please join me in welcoming to the stage our friend
Dr. James S. Jackson. [ Applause ]>>Well, if you don’t sit
down, I’m not going to be able to give them the talk. My thanks for that introduction. But with that kind of introduction,
good grief, you know. No one’s talk can
live up to that. So I don’t think there’s
any question about that. And mine won’t either. And in fact, I’ve been totally
thrown off my game today in terms of my talk by
what I heard this morning. We’ve had an all-day
symposium for those of you who just arrived. And it was an incredible
demonstration of the breadth and depth of scholarship
among African-Americans and particular those who had
been associated with the program for research on black Americans. So I’m totally thrown
off my game. I should be talking about
something different. So we’ll see how it goes anyway. My acknowledgment to
President Schlissel and also to Provost Philbert,
who are both here. And that’s really wonderful. So this talk has given me
an opportunity to reflect on an interesting career. So I would think about this
talk as being a little different because it is a career award. And so, it’s go to
be a little different than my usual kind
of scientific talks. My career spans over
five decades as an undergraduate
student at MSU. That was mentioned before. So I’m free now to
say, yes, I went there. But the one thing that no
one has said yet today is that the reason why I went
to MSU, and that’s probably because you didn’t know,
because I was going to become the next
great engineer. So my work — And I was accepted
into electrical engineering in 1962 at Michigan State. So I was going to go
and become an engineer. But what I found was that
engineers were really boring. And I don’t mean that personally
for the engineers in the room. But it was in context. So engineering was really
boring in the 1960s. There were things
going on in 1962, the civil rights movements,
other kinds of things. And that was much more exciting. So I survived about two and
half years in that before kind of switching out and deciding
to become a psychology major. I was a graduate student
in physiological psychology at the University of Toledo, where I learned a
lot about rats. That’s what I did. I was a rat runner and a
fairly good one at that. And my master’s thesis was on
the effects of chlorpromazine on infant albino rats
under different conditions of blah, blah, blah, blah. It was really long. I got out of that because
one day, I put my hand into the thing to take the rat
out to give them an injection because I was injecting
them every day. So pull a rat out, and
I had gotten pretty good about flipping it over, given the subcutaneous
injection and so on. But this time, I had
gotten a rat who was on a deprivation schedule. That rat jumped on my finger. I started bleeding everywhere. I shook the rat off. I went to my advisor and
said, look at what happened. I mean, you know,
the rat bit the hell out of me is what I
essentially said to him. And he said to me, what
happened to the rat. [ Laughter ] Well, I said, to hell
with that [inaudible]. Lickety-split, I decided
I was going to going into social psychology. And I figured that there was
no sophomore that I was trying to run an experiment
that was going to be biting me on the finger. So anyway. So that’s how I got to
Wayne State University and became a social psychologist
and came to the University of Michigan, where I expected
to stay for five years, as most people come in here. This was the most outstanding
social psychology program in the country. Lord knows I couldn’t make
it here and get tenure. But they did give me
tenure, and I never left. So I’ve been here
the whole time. I’m honored by the Office of
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for this award, the
National Center for Institutional Diversity,
several wonderful colleagues, Cleopatra Caldwell, Robert
Taylor, Woody Neighbors that have worked to recommend
me for this singular honor. Also my thanks to
LSA [inaudible] and all the other
places that were named, including the offices of the
provost and the president. I should mention very quickly
to get this out of the way. You see me using a cane. So I have been ill. I have some health challenges. I’m feeling pretty good, good enough to give
talk at least today. Things are looking
positive for me. So I do feel pretty good. So we’ll see what happens. We’ll keep an eye on it. But I am the most thankful
person in this room to be giving this talk today. All right. First of all, I would like to
begin my talk by commenting on the value and the
importance of higher education and especially the
potential contribution of a higher education
system committed to the excellence of diversity. The American academic
system has to change. It has to become a place
that reflects the diversity of our society and the world
and, in fact, celebrates and encourages the
benefits to the intellectual and research infrastructure
that diversity can bring. Today, we are a significant
distance away from this ideal. There are many challenges
to higher education. The United States has an
enviable record in terms of providing opportunities for
higher education in the world. And while many problems plague
our K to 12 educational system, especially those in America’s
inners cities, we have enjoyed since the turn of the last
century the finest system of private and public higher
education across the globe. We’ve been only second to Canada
in the percentages of citizens over the age of 25 achieving
a postsecondary education. We’re also a leader in the
production of doctorates, and doctor education has been
nothing short of phenomenal. I’m hoping I can use this
mouse to push things. Yeah, I can. That’s really good. In fact, if we look at the
first slide here, I just wanted to show very quickly, that indeed we produce
lots of doctorates. We even do about 3.4% increase
average growth since 1958. It’s incredible the
number of things that we’ve been able to do here. Now, of course, in terms of
underrepresented minorities, we’ve kind of fallen behind with
regard to that participation, but that’s one thing I
really want to talk about. Clearly, the trends have not
been equal in this country. Women, ethnic and racial
minorities have not fared as well in postsecondary
education, especially MA and doctoral education,
though the trends are upward. And today, over 10%
of all doctorates go to underrepresented
minorities, about 6.1% black. While substantial progress
has been made for women and minorities in
obtaining bachelor’s degree, masters levels and
doctorate degrees have lagged. So you can see in this next
slide that over the period 1976 through 2004, there
is growth in terms of undergraduate enrollment. That is, we are making
some progress in this particular movement. If we look at the change in
black campus representation, you can see that we actually
have made important strides over relatively long
periods of time. In addition, if we looked at
doctoral students, and again, while black doctoral enrollment
actually are fairly flat and so on, that indeed we
even produce large numbers of those as well. If we look at doctors awarded
by race and ethnicity, again, it’s fairly flat for blacks, and
the numbers are very similar. And I’m going to talk about
that in just a minute. Even with the contribution
of similar dedicated black and other underrepresented
institutions, it would certainly be much
worse without their existence, especially in undergraduate
education. Now this slide just
shows that the growth of the population projected
out to 2050 is going to show tremendous
growth in terms of underrepresented
minority groups in terms of the population. We have to be concerned about
that in terms of as we look at our institutions
and who are we taking in to those institutions. So we know that 72.4% white
increased 5.47% between 2000 and 2010; 12.66% black
increased 12.3%; 4.8% Asian, 10.2% other multiple;
16.3% Hispanic or Latino. It’s clear that the United
States’ population is becoming an increasingly diverse place. On the other hand, and while
we’ve seen large growth in terms of undergraduate students and
others, we’ve seen the growth in the population distribution
with undergraduate minorities. One of the amazing things
over the last 50 years or so is the flatness of
faculty representation, particularly among blacks. This slide shows you
that it’s about 3%. This is 2015. And that’s about what it’s been
for the last 20 years, 20, 30, 40 years in terms of what the
representation looks like. If we look at the
percentage of blacks in full-time faculty ranks at
degree granting institutions, you can see slightly higher
numbers in the lower ranks, lower numbers in
the lower ranks. This includes various different
universities and colleges, historically black
colleges and so on. If we took a look at only
large white institutions and universities, that number
comes in, like I said before, around somewhere between
3 and 4% of the faculty. So we’ve done a fairly
good job over the years. It’s waxed and waned. At the University of
Michigan, since 1968, the percentage has been
between 3.8 and 9.7%, peaking around some period of
time in the Michigan mandate, and now somewhere
around 4, 4 1/2%, 4.3% in terms of
black enrollment. I think, indeed, we
can do better in that. And we certainly can do
better in terms of faculty. There are a lot of
challenges that face us in terms of higher education. There are political
challenges in terms of cuts. We must more clearly delineate
the important contributions of graduate education to
scientific discoveries. We must deal with
the important role that our future academicians,
scientists, business and artists play while
in graduate school. We need greater international
scope. Finally, though, I think one of the most important things
is we must address problems of equity and inclusion by
opening our doors even wider to individuals from groups who have not participated
as fully as others. We have the room. And all the less, we’d like
to see progress is indeed being made. One of the things that I
think is important even when African-Americans
have been able to secure faculty
positions and so on. This is from National
Institute of Health. You can see that African-Americans are
underrepresented in terms of the awards that are
made within the NIH. This is something that’s been
very perplexing to people. Although this is not the
most interesting thing about this slide. What’s the most interesting
thing about this slide is
the very low numbers of African-American faculty
who are actually participating within that particular
research enterprise. But this is something that
really has to be addressed. So I am concerned about
these low numbers. I think we can do a lot better. I think there’s a real reason as to why the faculty issue has
been very difficult to crack. In some ways, the academia
is the last bastion holding out in a way against the kind
of diversity that we need. And it’s something that we
have to really deal with and I’m going to talk
about with the program for research on black Americans. But one of the things that
I think is important is that in giving a career award, that a personal narrative was
an important aspect to this. I haven’t talked about myself
very personally over the years. Most people really don’t know
much about my background, about my history because I just
don’t generally talk about that. I’ve never seen that as my role. I see my role as to
project other people out, not so much with regard
to projecting myself. And I had not done that. But let me talk a little bit about a personal
narrative of me. This is my great,
great, great grandmother. That’s me, right there,
that little tike over there. I was somewhere about 2, 2 1/2. In fact, I kind of look like
my grandchildren in a way. And this picture
becomes important. I was born in 1944. I am 73. But I was born in 1944. This picture was taken somewhere around 1946, between
’46 and ’47. But that’s not the
most interesting thing. I wanted to situate this
in the next picture. This picture is an
interesting one. That is my mother on
the left right here. This — Oops. Well, how did that happen? All right. Let’s not move that. So this is my mother here. And again, this is around 1946. That is my grandmother. Some of the people up here
ought to be able to remember her because she did a lot
of the cooking for us when we had those parties
and dinners at my house when I was a lot younger. This is her mother, my
great grandmother here, the one who was holding
my hand before. And this is her mother. All right. This woman died in
the early 1950s. She was 108 years old. And what’s interesting
about that is, of course, she was born a slave and
was freed with emancipation at the end of the civil war. So I show this slide to make
the point that at 73 years old, I indeed have either directly
experienced de jure segregation and other forms of
segregations in my own life. But through the history
with regard to my family, we go back to slavery actually
and interacting with people who had these particular
kinds of experiences. So I say that point
to let you know that these are not
necessarily historical things that we talk about. These are part of what
the lived experiences are. And that has impact with regard
to how we think about things. This is my grandfather,
who is on the left. That’s his wife,
not my grandmother. Oops. You weren’t
supposed to see that one. And my uncle, and
that’s my mother, the same picture
before, and my father. What’s interesting about this
picture that my grandfather, who could pass for
white and did pass for white, had a unique way. They were all from
South Carolina. And he and his wife would
begin as black people in New York City on the train. At the Mason-Dixon line,
they would become white and move into the white car. And then when they got to
Ware Shoals, South Carolina, they would become black again because the people there
knew that they were black. And he would do that all
the time when he traveled. I mean, he didn’t want
to travel as Negro because that was really
kind of problematic. But indeed, experiences
with regard to the family. He talked about this when I was
a young man before he passed away at about 86. And it was a very interesting
idea about to think about this. My father was a World
War II veteran. In 1942, when he
graduated from high school, he was offered a full
scholarship in college, which is very unusual
for Negros in 1942. My mother, who became
a registered nurse, also had a very interesting
life. This slide, the only point
to make about this slide is that I was young
one time [laughter]. That is my wife. She wasn’t my wife at
that particular point. But indeed, she was then. But we were both
relatively young. So now, I’m really kind of old. It just kind of reminds
me that at one point in time that I was young. So I was born and raised
in Inkster, Michigan, as I said before, born
during World War II, and both lived then through de
jure and de facto segregation. At age 73, as I said
before, my lived experiences through my own direct
contacts and those of my slave born ancestors and
her children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren
were all alive. It’s just not that
long ago; 51 years ago, I was a graduating senior at
Michigan State University. I was full of hope
and confidence. And this is something that
Belinda talked about before. Because I was part of the
young civil rights generation who had shared either directly
or symbolically the march on Selma, the Mississippi relief
fund, sit ins, demonstrations, boycotts, Martin Luther
King, Malcolm X, Rap Brown, the Dodge Revolutionary Union
Movement, the Black Panthers and numerous other events that
filled all of us in that era with hope that black dreams of true citizenship
would be fulfilled. Because Robert L. Green,
one of MLK’s lieutenants, one of his six lieutenants,
was an advisor to my fraternity at Michigan State University,
I was fortunate as a young man to meet an amazing array
of people of the giants of that era, including
Malcolm X, Jimmy Hathol [assumed spelling]; he was the most interesting
person I met, Jesse Jackson, Dick Gregory, and indeed
Martin Luther King, all people that I
was able to talk. My meeting with Martin Luther
King was life transformative. And I really hadn’t
known how much until I was preparing
for this talk. I wrote about this one time in
Rackham back in the ’70s or ’80s about what that experience was by spending a whole
day with him. But I really hadn’t
thought about one thing. And I’m going to hit on that
particular issue as we go. Even in 1966 in response
to my question to him, because I spent the whole
day squiring him around. That was my job. I’d pick him up at the airport. Spent all day with him. Hard work. And that was great. And he indicated concerns at
that point about the fight for citizenship rights and
what strategies might lead to full inclusion of
the American Negro. That was a conversation we
had throughout the whole day. And as you know, it was
a nonviolent approach that he was taking and how he
saw this and what his belief was of how inclusion should,
indeed, come about. But he had questions about
it, and I had questions to him about it because I was probably
more toward the Malcolm X, other kinds of visions in
that particular period. People talked about some
of our activist days, like taking over the American
Psychological Association and other stuff. So I was pretty mouthy
in those particular days. I have in earlier writings
turned my generation of blacks the disappointment
generation because the hopes and aspirations, the
confidence in the future of that era did not
transform quickly into what were reasonable
hopes of full citizenship. In many ways, I took
away from my meeting with Reverend King a
slightly different perspective on what needed to be done. It became clear to me as I
began my career preparations that a strategy that
directed attention to appeasing clients may not be
the best approach with regard to what full incorporation
might look like for blacks. And I will return to this
particular theme a little later. There had been four periods of racial discrimination
in the United States. Those periods include slavery,
de jure and de facto segregation and what I call status quo
discrimination, which exists in the United States at this
particular point in time. The government has
participated in these. And while we may long
for a universal system of human self-classification
that permit maximal freedom of expression and so on, this
is confounded by the fact that real discrimination
and subjugation exists that describes different roles
and opportunities to people who are phenotypically
different, particularly those who are viewed as black. During the current period of what I call status quo
subjugation, it is no longer in the interest of the
government to be knowledgeable about the fortunes of those who
may be classified as nonwhite. And thus, we hear loud
voices lamenting the ways in which racial classification
is personally stifling, particular the blacks, how this
classification contributions to unfair advantages,
especially by blacks, how this classification actually
contributes to the problem of racial bias in
the United States, what I call is the don’t
know, don’t tell era. Into this era has come a shift
away from affirmative action and a call for diversity. And what do we understand
about that? Discussions of affirmative
action programs are often framed in context of constitutionally
fairness to whites, especially white men, or the
damages done to protected groups and white women because
of the stigma associated with being the beneficiaries
of preferential treatment. If we look at the issue, and Terry Anderson
did a wonderful — He’s a historian from the
Texas A and M University. And he wrote a book
called “The Strange Career of Affirmative Action.” I would recommend this
book to all to think about how affirmative
action became appropriated by a very different set of
perspectives than what it was when it was first developed. Starting in 1961, President
John F. Kennedy used affirmative action for the first time in
instructing federal contractors to take affirmative
action to ensure that applicants are
treated equitably; 1964, the Civil Rights Act of
1964 was signed into law. This was landmark legislation, prohibiting employment
discrimination by large employers, whether or not they have government
contracts or not; 1965, Lyndon B. Johnson issued
Executive Order 11246, requiring all government
contractors and subcontractors to take affirmative action to expand job opportunities
for minorities. This was amended in 1967. Within one year, President
Lyndon B. Johnson argued that fairness required
more than a commitment to impartial treatment. In his famous 1965 address at
Howard University, he said, “You do not take a person who,
for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting
line of a race and then say, you are free to compete
with all the others and still justly believe that
you have been completely fair. Thus, it is not enough just to
open the gates of opportunity. All our citizens
must have the ability to walk through those gates. We seek not just equality as a
right and a theory, but equality as a fact and equality
as a result.” In 1970, Richard Nixon
issued order number four. Order number four was revised
to include women in 1971. And then President Nixon issued
two more important executive orders, 11625 and the
Memorandum-Permissible Goals and Timetables in State
and Local Governments. In 1973, we require all
contractors develop an acceptable affirmative action
program, including analysis of areas in which the
contract was deficient in the utilization. And they were instructed to
take the term minority groups to refer to certain individuals. In 2006, though, Michigan and
voters adopted proposal two. It amends the Michigan
Constitution to ban public institutions
from discriminating against or giving preferential treatment
to groups or individuals based on their race, gender, color,
ethnicity and national origin. And this proposition had a very
chilling effect on the efforts that the University of Michigan
had been making, indeed, to open up and to be a
more inclusive place. But if affirmative action has
been so successful historically, then why did we see the kinds
of numbers and the statuses that exist for
African-Americans? I’ve always argued
that particular point, that people have said
affirmative action is not a good thing. It does all kinds of
bad stuff and so on. If anything, it probably
hasn’t done enough. In my estimation, much of
the past and current debates on affirmative action
actually missed the mark. While a great deal attention
focuses on the mechanics of affirmative action or
its unfairness to whites or even its constitutionality,
the real thrust and underlying rationale
of affirmative action is in redressing current
discriminatory practices in the United States. Programs of affirmative
action is the cost that a purported free and
open society has to pay when it tolerates individual
and institutional forms of group-based discrimination
in housing, schoolings, job markets, criminal
justice system and healthcare against nonwhite racial and ethnic minorities
and white women. Unfortunately, affirmative
action has been perversely envisioned as a methodology for redressing the past
wrongs of the society. The historical rationale for
affirmative action in order to make it more palatable
I think was given as need to overcome the legacies
of a country that through its state-supported
policies had left millions of people, especially
blacks, unable to complete in the capitalist market system. The same argument was
used for other groups, including white women, and
inherent in this argument, though not clearly stated,
was this tacit awareness that discriminatory effects
were generational and long-term. And yet, there was the
explicit proposition that the historical remnants of past discrimination could be
overturned in one generation. And we know better than
that as researchers. It’s not possible. The understandable but
misguided conceptualization of affirmative action programs
is only addressing past wrongs. It’s what draws the position
of many, in some cases, their opposition to any type
of official record of racial and ethnic classification. Many conflate the
problem with the remedy. They seem to act
out of the belief that affirmative action is
about past wrongs committed by the society against blacks and other racial
and ethnic groups. Because there is supposedly no
longer any serous discrimination in this society, it’s not clear
that we should punish whites by permitting special favors
in education and employment for blacks and others. And, in fact, we don’t even
need any official statistics about racial classification because there is no
racial discrimination which indeed occurs within
the United States of America. Who truly believes that racial and gender discrimination
is a thing of the past? Each and every day, government
statistics about differentials and living arrangements,
schooling opportunities, job base discriminatory
practices, glass ceilings, health and mortality [inaudible] that serious discrimination
has been eliminated. If one believes, however, in
the face of daunting statistics that there is no need
for racially-based data and affirmative action
programs, one may also believe that it’s the existence
of these type of group based programs
themselves that create the problem,
whether it’s the concern that affirmative action creates
a stigma for blacks and women, that affirmative actions
is unconstitutional, or that it’s unfair, indeed,
to white in this society. Affirmative action is not the
problem in the United States. The problem is what affirmative
action attempts to address. If affirmative action
is about past wrongs and race-based discrimination
does not exist in the United States today,
then the removal of racial and gender designations from official documents will
have no effects upon the life chances of ethnic and
racial minorities. If, on the other hand,
affirmative action is a price that a democratic
society has to in order to maintain a market-based
economy and the related institutions
that discriminate in multiple ways against certain
ethnic and racial, gender, class of people, then
the effect of removing such information will be to
solidify current differentials in social and economic
opportunities, or even perhaps to turn back the clock on
some of the meager progress that has been made over
the last 50 years or so. Since the current discrimination
based treatment of peoples of color in the society is a
product of hundreds of years of flavor in 19th and
20th century de jure and de facto segregation
by state-supported systems, is it logical to think
that the elimination of affirmative action
programs and the removal of race classifications
would eliminate any of the problems related to large
broadly-based differentials by race, ethnic and
sex statuses? If it did, I am sure that
all of us in this room, regardless of race,
creed or gender, would support this position. But sadly, logic, history and
government statistics lead us to another inescapable
conclusion. And it may be noted as by
Dr. Jamillah Bowman Williams. And I’m going to call on
her research quite a bit. And she is the granddaughter,
of course, of the PRBA. Her father is Phil Bowman. He’s someone grinning. We talked before. And she has written an
absolutely brilliant paper I think that’s going to
come out in the law review of the Washington University
this year about the issue of affirmative action
and diversity. And I draw on that in
terms of thinking about it. I’m too fast on the
trigger on this thing. I can see. But what do we gain I think
with an emphasis on diversity over our concern with the legal
prescriptions that are embedded in civil rights, legislation and commonly called
affirmative action programs? Jamillah says the
following: that bias and discrimination continue to
limit opportunities and outcomes for racial minorities
in America. And this is the point
that I was making. The diversity rationale, touting
the broad benefits of inclusion, has become widely accepted
in the United States. At the same time, many
of you are focused on antidiscrimination law and
the threat of legal enforcement as outmoded and ineffective. Thus, corporate employers,
courts and university talk less in terms of the mandates of law, such as the 1964 Civil Rights
Act, or a legal case and more in terms of a business case,
where benefits of inclusion seem to accrue to everyone. It’s easy to explain the appeal of the business case
for diversity. It merges the goals
of racial inclusion with business profitability
and corporate interests. Antidiscrimination law
by contrast is viewed as top-down and coercive. But there is one major problem. There is little to no
evidence that the business case for diversity actually
reduces bias and promotes racial inclusion. And this, indeed, is what
her paper is all about, with some very interesting
social psychological experiments, as well
as an excellent review of these particular
sets of issues. And this is in her 2017 paper
that’s going to come out soon. And, in fact, in some ways, a diversity approach
makes assumptions about motivation and intent. If only whites would understand
the benefits of diversity. If we could get this
issue across to them, they would strongly endorse it. Why? Because we’re making
a strong business case. It really is good for everyone. Based upon my long-ago
discussion with Martin Luther King, I’ve always questioned
this particular assumption. Do we have large numbers of
well-meaning whites out there if only we could explain to
them the pain that’s caused by the situation that exists in
the United States, they, indeed, would then buy into a diversity
inclusive sort of notion. That is not to say that there
are not large numbers of whites who do fit this description of
being open to, indeed, change. But as we have sadly learned,
particularly over the past year, there are many others who don’t. The appeal of a diversity
approach is obvious, but institutions
are result oriented. In my own approach to
building a research institution that would address historic and
current deficits in research and training related to black
Americans, the focus was on high quality research and the
mentoring of graduate students and junior faculty
to be successful in the difficult world
of the university. This was the challenge
and the goal of PRBA. This was not to deny the
importance of really speaking to whites about the importance
of diversity and getting them to understand that, but
I certainly didn’t want to spend my time doing that. I thought the most important
thing to do was to build a cadre of very well trained
African-American faculty who could go out and compete in a very competitive
world of the university. As an aside, I was a
pretty hard mentor. I’m sure a lot of the
students, they laugh, but they know it’s true. I was hard on them. I really was in terms of
what my expectation was. My expectation was very high for
the students that I work with, both the postdocs, graduate
students, junior faculty, because I knew they
could do better. There’s a story I like to tell. I don’t know if I should tell it in this company,
but I will anyway. I had a student one time, and I was giving her a
particularly hard time about her thesis because I just
didn’t think it was written well enough. It didn’t make the point
well enough and so on. So I knew and she didn’t
know that one of the things that needs to happen in the
’70s and ’80s and ’90 is that when people went out in the
job market, that those people at those institutions
wanted to read the thesis of black students particularly. They would want to
get the thesis, and they’d want to read it. So it had to be done very well. So she said to me that so and
so, name not to be mentioned, said it was all right. And I said, no, it’s
not all right. It could be better. No, but so and so
said it was just fine. And I said have you ever
thought that maybe I’m smarter than so and so [laughter]. And, of course, that had
never crossed her mind. How could that cross her mind? Those are some of the things I
think that we have to overcome. We have a long history in this
country of building excellence from diversity of many types. There’s no doubt about that. The nature of our
immigrants in society means that we have taken the best from
the world’s countries and along with native peoples forge
excellence and commerce, the arts, science,
technology and agriculture. Without the drive,
energy and desire of our ever-new immigrant
populations, where would we be as a country? That sounds like it’s going
to get tested, by the way. Even slavery, a most shameful
part of our past, had its roots in an attempt to import
knowledge and experience in a wide variety
of the skill crafts in agricultural techniques. Slaves were not just brought
here willy-nilly from Africa. They were even sought out
for their particular skills. Think about the Mississippi
Delta, rice production, other kinds of issues and
how people were selecting those individuals. So even at that particular
point, the white slave owners
understood that there were certain
skills and abilities that these individuals
had, even though later, it was absolutely denied. Today is a more mature country. We often appear afraid of
change, of multiple ethnicities and races, of the cultural
differences among the people who forged the society. For this reason, we
need to look backwards and to build upon the lessons
and wisdom of our diverse past. Now this is not going
to be easy. And I’ve argued at the beginning
that the higher education, especially public institutions, provide the advanced training
opportunities for the majority of our particular citizens. But we have many challenges. If the undergraduate and graduate students
are our highest priority, then the faculty is the
key to all that we achieve. University faculty
members stand as a fulcrum between the institutional past
and the institutional future. Teacher, educator,
role model, mentor. The women and men of our university faculty assume
a variety of responsibility and being the creators of the
repository of the cultural, scientific, technical and
artistic knowledge of the past and the innovators of
a knowledge to come. The faculty has the
collective responsibility keeper and interpreter of knowledge, the engine for science
innovation, the source of new aesthetics
in the arts, culture and the humanity and foundation
of future university leadership. We must at all cost
nurture, protect and maintain excellence
in our faculty. And that excellence is dependent
upon greater diversification in all demographic and social
aspects of our broad society. And, indeed, that’s what we’ve
been devoted to do in PRBA. You weren’t supposed
to see that either. So let me put that there. I want to talk about
the PRBA in a way that was not discussed
this morning. This morning was tremendously
embarrassing to me because a lot of people talked about James. And James’s name was
all over the place. And I know that’s just not true. The quality of the people that
I have had the opportunity — It’s been my pleasure, and I’ve
gained a great deal of working with a group of very, very
smart and bright people. And as Bob Ziance
[phonetic] always told me, there’s always somebody
who’s smarter than you. And many of these students
have certainly been smarter than I am. And the ability to
be able to work with them has been wonderful. But the PRBA, indeed,
is probably one of the best examples of
team science that we have. Team science has become all
the rage today, particularly in the physical sciences, but
also gaining more in the social and behavioral sciences as well. You know, where you
have articles with 3000 people’s names on
them or 300 names on them, team science is what it’s about. PRBA was one of the
earliest instantiations of what team science
could possibly look like. So the experiences
in my own training and professional career resulted
in a long-term experiment within a largely white
research university context in conducting team science on
research on race and ethnicity. Team science or collaborative
science in the social, biological and physical
science has become the prevalent norm today. As noted earlier in the early
1970s, perhaps even truer today, there were no alternatives
except to embark upon a team science
approach to studying the social, psychological and
material dimensions of life for black Americans. We didn’t do this because
of some conceptual reason that we invented. We didn’t have any choice. Now there were very few
African-American faculty at that particularly point. I was the first African-American
faculty in the psychology
department, hired in 1971. Huard Thomas had been there
as a part time faculty member and one other faculty
member that I taught with. No, not Ed Ebbs. The other fellow who taught
in community psychology. Yeah, Floyd Wiley. And he and I taught together
for about 10 or 15 years on the base community
psychology program. Perhaps we didn’t have, like I
said, didn’t have any choice. The type of interdisciplinary
perspectives required to study the complexity of life
for discriminated against race or ethnic group in the United
States demanded corporation among individuals bridging
the broad range of the social and behavioral sciences. Knowledge and research
from economics, psychology, sociology, anthropology,
political science, history, medicine and public
health were all needed to understand the circumstances
and the lived experiences of African-Americans in
this particularly country. You could not comprehend
this particular group in an acceptable scientific
way if you looked only through the lens of one
particular discipline and certainly not psychology. Our modest goal was to
highlight the nature and meaning of these lived experiences by what we call giving
voice to black Americans. We did not know then
that 30 years later, team science would
be all the rage. And, in fact, I recently
finished a stint on a National Academy of Science
committee on team science and, in fact, wrote two of
the chapters myself on what team science looks like
in a much more general way. This has become the wave of
what the future looks like. Now psychology, now I’m
going to rag on psychology for a minute here
if you don’t mind. I, you know, just I
see the chair is there. So I’m speaking to her now. Was not the most
hospitable place for large-scale team
science projects, and especially those focused
on race and ethnicity in 1971. Trust me. I’m not going
to show any data on that, but, indeed, it was true. On the other hand, the
Institute for Social Research, which was founded
about 70 years ago, based upon multidisciplinary
collaborative team science principles. Thus, ISR became a more
viable and welcoming home for this research project than
the Department of Psychology at that particular time. The challenges posed in
terms of students, faculty, institutional disciplinary,
external funding sponsors and so on at ISR, indeed, were
kind of consistent and open to this particular approach. The PRBA has become a
very successful endeavor over this time. Things have changed in a way. But the larger academic
community, however, remains largely a white,
ethnocentric environment. Now I feel fortunate
that I’ve been able to do so many interesting scientific
and educational projects; however, one always limits
for one could have done, absent structural and
individual barriers to success. And in many ways, this
is the conundrum faced by most black academics, whether
five decades ago or today. In environments fraught
with institutional barriers, how does a black individual
academic attain a firm grasp on his or her strengths,
liabilities and contributions? One is always faced with
the attributional ambiguity of what our personal
feelings or limitations and what our actual environment
mental impediments to success. I knew when we started
mentoring and so on within PRBA that to adequately prepare
these individuals, if they went out to these far-flung
universities and so on, that they would have
to be able to address, to deal with these
particular issues in order to be successful. Thank God most of them
have been able to do that and have had the will and the
ability to be able to do that. As early on in my career, I
want to note that I had calls to participate in
many activities with the fledgling Association
of Black Psychologists, with the Black Students
Psychological Association. I became national president
of both those organizations. Out of these roles and the work
of pioneers like Reginald Jones and Robert Williams
grew a perspective on what constituted
black psychology. And it was important to be able
to develop research strategies which proceed from real
life needs, the development of collaborative relationships
with black communities and the development of
new research competencies. We would be able to put
those same principles into the development
of the PRBA. So what occurred at the
University of Michigan? A number of historically
important events, like note, an active black student
psychological association, State Associations of
Black Psychologists and most importantly, a critical
mass of bright, energetic, black graduate students
in a receptive environment at the Institute for Social
Research, largely contributed to by the unwavering,
intellectual and material assistance of
Patricia and Gerald Gurin. In fact, when I came here, they
put me in charge of a project. I talked to Pat about
this the other night. So I think I can say this again. They had a project that
was ongoing with lots of the black graduate students
that had been admitted. And these black graduate
students had gone crazy. In a sense, that indeed, they
were trying to do things outside of the context of what,
indeed, you could do. Not you, Woody and other people. You were all kind of — I’m talking about the
people who were there then. And through — I become the
study director for this. And then I was faced
with the deal of dealing with these particular students. But the good thing that came out
of our arguments and discussions and me telling them, no,
you cannot do that, no, you can’t take over the
president’s house, you know, that’s not the thing to do,
although they did it anyway, and no, you can take
over this project from Patricia and Gerald Gurin. It’s their project. And therefore, they should be
setting the limits and so on. Out of those conversations,
many of them late at night, many of them over drinks and
whatever the case may be, we were able to forge ideas about what a research program
should like going forward. This wasn’t just from the
fertile mind of James Jackson, but it actually came
out of the interaction with these particular students. And, indeed, we were able
to develop based upon that the ideas about the PRBA. So we were concerned with regard to the continuing
inequality that’s linked to race and ethnicity. We knew that in order to
be able to address that, there were some things
that we had to do in order to be able to address that. And at the basis of the
initial development of the PRBA, there were several
major assumptions. One, that there’s
been a long history of poorly conceptualized,
poorly constructed and poorly interpreted
research on blacks. That was a problem then and sometimes it’s
considered a problem now. Two, much of what is unique to black Americans has
been subjugated to deficit and culture of poverty
theorizing. And three, the lack of black
empirically trained social scientists has contributed
to the first two problems. That these are the
three problems that indeed the PRBA
tried to do that. Unfortunately, while the PRBA
has contributed to progress in all of these areas, the
field still lags behind. The most recent of the
PRBA national studies, and let me just focus on
that, the national survey of American life was designed
to be a two-decade follow-up to national servuy
of black Americans that was done in 1979, ’80. Fieldwork ended sometime
in 2002. And there were several
aspects of that study that were important
that I’d like to note. First, the survey included a
large nationally representative sample of African-Americans
and national samples of the Afro-Caribbean
population under the recognition that the black population in the United States was
becoming much more diverse. And at least those
two studies had to be included, those
two groups. If we were doing
this study today and somebody would
give me the $44 million that would be required to
replicate the national survey of American life, no one has — I’m doing this because I
think this is being webcasted. If [inaudible] is out there and
he wants to give me $44 million, I will take it, and we will
do a new national survey of American life. And what would be different is that we would include the
African immigrant population into that study. we’d have a larger
Caribbean population to study, much more diverse within
the Caribbean population, somebody answered
that question before, in order to be able
to address that. We, indeed, used lots of multiple theoretically
driven measures of SES. In terms of this
study, it was important. We employed the successful
novel geographical screening procedures that we
develop in NSBA. Somebody mentioned that today. for you that weren’t
there, one was called WASP, the wider screening procedure,
which came to me in a dream. It’s very expensive to
scientifically find blacks, particularly those who live
in areas of low concentration of blacks or high
concentration of whites. But if you’re going to
represent the population, you have to represent
those individuals. And what’s wrong with
most national studies that don’t take heed of
this is that they wind up with unacceptable
sampling error because they’re sampling the
same people over and over again. And you get huge differences
between blacks and whites, not because those
differences really exist, because you sampled
the populations in different kinds of ways. That had to be overcome. We also had to overcome the fact that African-Americans
are a cluster, and we had to get a procedure
that would allow us to do and to overcome that clustering,
which we were able to do. The study also addressed the
heterogeneity experiences across ethnic groups
within the black population. And this heterogeneity
was very important. We not only assessed the
presence of physical health and mental disorders,
but we also looked at levels of impairment. We also selected from
segments like in portion to the African-American and
Afro-Caribbean population, making this the first
sample of people of different and ethnic groups. One of the other pretty
significant groups. One of the other things that
we’ve done within the NSAL and Tom Levist who actually
pioneered in writing about this particular issue,
the NSAL, which is based on the distribution of black
and Caribbean populations, actually samples white
who live in various areas of black concentration. No one has actually worked very
much with this particular fact, but we have whites who live in
areas of high black density, and we have whites who live in
areas of very low black density. The issue would be, and
based upon Tom’s work, we would imagine that those
whites would look very different from each other in
terms of their health, their mental health and
other kinds of outcomes. But that was done on purpose. The final thing I
want to comment on, and I will do this very quickly. We could not do the
high-quality research without really addressing the
issue of training and mentoring. At the point we were doing this
study, there was me and Jerry and a whole bunc of graduate
students who were struggling with regard to their courses and the other things
that needed to do. We were able to add two very
significant people to that. And I want to mention three very
significant people actually. Belinda Tucker, who talked
this morning, Phil Bowman, who didn’t talk but perhaps
should have, and Sherly Patrick. And I can tell you right
now, we never would be able to deliver this particular
study without the input of these three young
professionals. And then added to that
were graduate students that we had asked to step up into these very
important professional roles, like Woody Neighbors, Robert
Taylor, Linda Chatters and other people that
helped design sections of the questionnaire, pretests
and other kinds of things. We couldn’t have
done it without them. That’s why it was,
indeed, about team science. This was not a top-down effort. But the fact was is that
it was very important in terms of mentoring. Since the beginning
of the program, over 250 graduate students,
150 postdoctoral scholars and numerous undergraduate
students have participated in PRBA research projects. Many of the postdoctoral
scholars and graduate students trained in
this program now form the core of the primary research team. Others have assumed
positions in industry, research in academic
institutions throughout the country. One highlight has been the
summer training program, in which we bring scholars in. And the fact is that we have,
indeed, I think been successful. This is the oldest currently
operating social science research team devoted to
the collection, analysis and interpretation of
data based upon national and national probability
samples. In addition to the substantive,
that’s not mine, contribution of the studies, we have
had to develop novel and unique survey sampling
and questionnaire methods. These studies have attracted
and focused the attention of the entire social science
community in what we’re doing. Over the last nearly 50 years,
I have worked with a broad array of colleagues, graduate students
and undergraduate students in giving voice to
black Americans. I want to make the
final point here. Change is coming. It may not be as rapid or
broad as many of us would like. But the efforts of so many
over the last 50 years to provide opportunities and
support for the growing numbers of underrepresented
students and faculty and graduate education
is a fact. And I’m happy that
we’ve been able to contribute whatever
small amount that we’ve been able to do. Now is not the time
to celebrate, however. Now is the time to
redouble our efforts, to increase opportunities, equity and inclusion
in the academy. There are many routes to
success in our country, but one of the most
true and tried is through the accumulation
of higher education. Our vision must be an inclusive
one, embracing a diversity in our society that have
joined so many volunteer and non-volunteer citizens over
its history into a broad mosaic of colors, genders,
cultures and values. An overarching value
for all of us must be in the continuing education and
training of future generation. This is the fundamental
engine of change and progress and the vehicle by which
our children secure a brighter future. There are a number of
things that are wrong with American higher
education today. I’ve mentioned a few of them
during the course of my talk. But there is an awful
lot of it that is right. We as responsible
stewards of this and similar institutions
should attempt to steer the right course, a
course that may lead us back to our roots and propel us into
a new century, fully prepared to work with countless thousands of the new generations
of graduate students. We’ll all have to contribute to
the renewal, the reinvention, if you will, of American
higher education. Is has done a lot, and
it can do so much more. And with your help, it will. Thank you. [ Applause ] Okay. I’ll stand. I already asked a
few questions too. [ Applause ] She asked me to stand
here for some reason. I don’t know. But I’ll stand here. I do what I’m told.>>Really?>>Yeah.>>To cap off this
really wonderful day, I invite Provost Martin
Philbert to the podium to present the University of Michigan’s Distinguished
Diversity Scholar Career Award.>>I’d like to invite President
Mark Schlissel and Vice Provost and Chief Diversity
Officer Robert Sellers to join us at the podium.>>Should I move?>>Yeah.>>There’s all these
important people.>>There’ll be a photo op, so you should be
center stage perhaps.>>Okay.>>James, it is a true
honor to present you with this plaque recognizing
you as the first recipient of the Distinguished
Diverse Career Scholar Award. Your research has for four
decades been path breaking and has shaped the
research agenda for social science
in the United States. You are an exemplar
of the University of Michigan’s commitment
to creating, communicating, preserving and applying
knowledge and to educating students
who challenge the present and enrich the future. We and the generation to come
are forever indebted to you. [ Applause ] Just one moment more. It is with great pleasure that
I am announcing this evening that the award presented to James today will
be known going forward as the James S. Jackson
Distinguished Career Award for Diversity Scholarship. [ Applause ]>>Thank you very much. [ Applause ]>>We’re so pleased to recognize
your long-lasting contributions in this way. And you may now be seated. Thank you.>>Where should I be seated? Over here? Thank you. [ Applause ]>>This concludes
today’s program. Thank you for all
for joining us today. We know that there are many of
you who are here today who would like to share good wishes
and reflections for James. You can probably catch him for
a few questions after this. But we also have a memory
book in the back on your way out of the auditorium that
we invite you to sign and jot down good wishes and memories
for you to sign on the way out. With that, I thank you and
good wish you a great evening. [ Applause ]

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