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The Reason Project


The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, in partnership with the Joyce Foundation, has launched the REASON Higher Education Equity Project in the Midwest, to increase access, retention, and completion rates for low-income and underrepresented students of color at public colleges and universities.

The project will focus on the following areas:

  • Recruitment;
  • Equity-in-Practice;
  • Accountability;
  • Social-Inclusion;
  • Opportunity-Culture; and
  • Networks

The national Lawyers’ Committee will collaborate with student leaders, alumni, local community organizations, policymakers, higher education administrators, grassroots organizers and civil rights allies. Together, they will build an inclusive, multi-sector coalition that will develop proposals and interventions that can increase access, completion, and socioeconomic mobility for Black and Brown students. Despite many efforts from administrators and policymakers, admission, enrollment, and completion rates for underrepresented students, including Black and Brown students, continue to lag. Black students make up less than 5% of the students enrolled in public colleges. Strategies to increase access and opportunity are often too generalized, and exclude key voices from the conversation, thereby making them ineffective.

The REASON project will bring new stakeholders into the decision-making process and generate innovative institution-level proposals that will jumpstart improved racial diversity and equity in higher education. The project will also enable individual states to meet the diversity and inclusion goals that their respective departments or boards of higher education have set.