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Please join us at the Center for Architecture for a discussion of the book When Ivory Towers Were Black: A Story about Race in America’s Cities and Universities by Sharon Egretta Sutton, FAIA.

When Ivory Towers Were Black: A Story about Race in America’s Cities and Universities traces the efforts to open Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation to ethnic minority students in the late 1960s and ’70s. This initiative was spearheaded by the school’s Division of Planning and the university-wide, Ford Foundation-funded Urban Center and was not always in line with the university as a whole. The book looks at the forces that allow for and impede institutional transformation and presents a story about diversity both in higher education and in the profession that is still relevant today.

When Ivory Towers Were Black contains the oral histories of 24 Columbia alumni, the author included, who received scholarships to attend the university during this era, and presents their experiences both while attending school and after graduation.

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