Five Principles Released from the Higher Education Community Designed to Promote and Inform Policy Decisions that Advance Racial Equity in Postsecondary Education

Jan. 20, 2021
Photo of Stella Flores
Stella Flores

One year ago today, President Biden spoke the following words as he signed the Executive Order on Racial Equity: “We need to open the promise of America to every American. And that means we need to make the issue of racial equity not just an issue for any one department of government; it has to be the business of the whole of government.”

To support more inclusive and deliberate policymaking processes at every level of government and within institutions of higher education, the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) convened an Advisory Committee for Equitable Policymaking Processes. Released today, “Opening The Promise:” The Five Principles of Equitable Policymaking sets forth an actionable framework informed by insights from more than two dozen experts across the field of higher education, including Stella Flores, IHEP Board member, associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy, and director of research and strategy for the Education Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin.

“We want to see policymakers build a fair, inclusive, and just system of higher education that serves all students—Black and White, Indigenous and Latinx, Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI), and all other identities, backgrounds, and circumstances—and policies are the building blocks of that system,” said Flores. “Better opportunities for students and communities of color can only be built on a strong, equitable policy foundation. To get there, we must dig beneath enacted policies and examine the entrenched inequities embedded in policymaking itself, prioritize structural changes that advance racial equity, and embed equitable practices within the processes used to develop policies.”

For more information, read the full press release from the Institute for Higher Education Policy.