Kennell Jackson

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Kennell Jackson

Envisioning a 'rainbow society' at Stanford

December 7 1988 Sophia Shing wrote in The Stanford Daily that embers of minority communities, student leaders and faculty commented on various concerns and ideals for a Stanford with more mature diversity and sound minority life. Mary Dillard, chair of the Black Student Union, said in her vision of an ideal Stanford environ

Chair of the Asian-American Students Association Brian Kim said, "Unless we have evenly divided power structures, then the students of color do not have the type of representation they need."

Delia Ibarra, co-chair of the MEChA, said Stanford has the potential to be "truly pluralistic" because of the quantity and quality of its students of color. Ibarra argued that "having racist emotions doesn't mean that you're racist."

Daniel Bao, speaking as a member of the Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Community Center, said he has found the Stanford community to assume that there are no problems in minority life unless something surfaces in public.

Tracey LeBeau, chair of the Stanford American-Indian Organization, shared Dillard's sentiments. She sees the administration "pushing the responsibility of change onto the color coalition when it should actually be a shared endeavor."

History Prof. Kennell Jackson echoed Bao's criticism of the laborious University procedure for dealing with minority affairs. He suggested implementing changes to address the problems rather than launching studies to verify the existence of the sore spots.

Although Allison May, a disabled staff member at the Disability Resource Center, said physical disabilities are often a "less hostile and touchy topic," than race relations, she noted that they sometimes prove "a lot harder for people to deal with."

Molly Sandperl, assistant director of the Disability Resource Center, commended the administration for its support, but observed that handicapped students face insensitivity and ignorance among their peers.

David Brown, a member of the Council of Presidents, said he hopes students might work together for "a rainbow society where the individual is respected for (his or her) uniqueness and not in spite of it." One's uniqueness might also be called race, difference, sex, ethnic heritage. And some argue that how one frames the issues determines the quality of debate.

Psychology Prof. Lee Ross suggested the negative connotations associated with the word "racism" create unnecessary awkwardness in talking about differences.[1]

"Justice and Hope"

Steven Phillips wrote Justice and Hope: Past Reflections and Future Visions of the Stanford Black Student Union 1967-1989, in 1990.

Writing Justice and Hope has been a humbling and daunting exercise. Many, many people helped, and this is indeed a collective work. I am grateful to the many Black faculty and staff members who provided valuable advice, support and direction: James L. Gibbs, St. Clair Drake, Kennell Jackson, Clayborne Carson, Keith Archuleta, Michael Jackson, Michael Britt, Dandre Desandies, Hank Organ, and Rachel Bagby.
I also made extensive use of the Stanford Libraries. At the various stages of production, a whole host of peeple contributed. I hope I don't leave anybody out, but here goes. My thanks go out to the following people: Lisa Fitts, Audrey Jawando, Bacardi Jackson, and Drew Dixon helped give shape to Justice and Hope when it was still a vague and unformed idea. Toni Long demonstrated for me the true power of PageMaker. David Porter clarified important facts and provided historical information. Frederick Sparks helped with fundraising and monitoring the budget. Lyzette Settle added critical comments and an extremely thorough and detailed revision of the text. Danzy Senna, Joy St. John, Stacey Leyton, Raoul Mowatt, Valerie Mih, Hillary Skillings, Judy Wu, Quynh Tran, and Cheryl Taylor meticulously proofread the final drafts. Elsa Tsutaoka gave advice on design, layout and cutting photos. MEChA loaned us its layout equipment The staff in the ASSU Business Office always cheerfully facilitated financial transactions and questions.[2]


  1. [The Stanford Daily, Volume 194, Issue 49, 7 December 1988 ]
  2. [1]