Education A National Roundup

Civil Rights Project to Leave Harvard for Los Angeles

By Debra Viadero — November 28, 2006 1 min read

After a decade at Harvard University, the Harvard Civil Rights Project is planning to move to the University of California, Los Angeles.

Gary Orfield, the project’s director and a professor of social policy and education at Harvard, said last week that UCLA had offered the civil rights think tank more funding for its core budget, a chance to expand, and more opportunities to collaborate with research colleagues on the West Coast.

“It’s a great place to do this kind of work,” he said of the Los Angeles area. “We’re going from the third-whitest metropolitan area in the U.S. to an area that’s the center of the multiracial transformation of this country.”

The UCLA-based project, to be known simply as the Civil Rights Project, will step up its focus on language and immigration issues. Mr. Orfield said the project also will have a Spanish name and publish Spanish versions of its publications.

Producing nearly two dozen reports and several books a year, the research center is arguably the nation’s premier scholarly voice on school desegregation, student diversity, and educational equity issues. Mr. Orfield founded the center in 1996 with Christopher Edley Jr., who went on to become an adviser to President Bill Clinton on civil rights and affirmative action and is now the dean of the law school at the University of California, Berkeley.

Mr. Orfield said the project would maintain a presence at both Harvard and UCLA throughout the current academic year and then officially relocate its main office in July.

A version of this article appeared in the November 29, 2006 edition of Education Week