Archived Information

ED Seal
Ed letterhead


Dear Friend of Education:

I am pleased to announce Many Paths, One Journey: Building One America, the U.S. Department of Education's initiative to promote both racial reconciliation and college opportunity. The initiative comprises two efforts during the month of October: the Campus Week of Dialogue, October 10 - 17, and National College Week, October 16 - 23. The initiative?s theme reflects both efforts, educating students on diversity-related issues and providing all students the opportunity to succeed.

Last year, we celebrated a very successful second annual Campus Week of Dialogue and the first-ever National College Week. We want to build on past success and encourage more participation in these activities on our country's college and university campuses and in communities. These activities provide tremendous opportunities for your participation.

The 1999 Campus Week of Dialogue supported President Clinton?s initiative for Building One America. This year, the third annual Campus Week of Dialogue will engage college and university communities across the nation in continued discussions of the complex issues of race and diversity. I have urged college presidents to work with their communities and organize activities such as the following during the week of October 10 - 17.

Last fall during the Campus Week of Dialogue, I challenged participating groups to commit to at least one project aimed at moving our country toward racial reconciliation. Approximately 700 colleges and universities responded and organized town hall meetings, faculty exchanges, student leadership activities, campus-university partnerships, and community service projects, to give a few examples. These efforts are important as America becomes more racially and ethnically diverse, and institutions of higher education play an essential role in reaching young people and bridging racial divides.

In 1999, over five hundred colleges and universities across the country participated in National College Week. This year we hope to double that number. We know that many young people still believe that higher education is financially out of reach because they lack an understanding of the resources available to help cover college costs. We also know that many more young people would be better prepared to do college level work if they began preparing for college earlier in their high school careers. I encourage you to join college presidents and others interested in promoting higher education opportunity through the following activities during the week of October 16 - 23:

Enclosed are fact sheets on the Campus Week of Dialogue, National College Week, and preparing for college through our GEAR UP and TRIO programs. Also enclosed are registration forms to let us know how you plan to participate. For more information on the Campus Week of Dialogue, please contact Donald Conner (202/502-7818; or ReShone Moore (202/502-7893; For more information on National College Week, please call the National College Week Hotline (202/401-4396) or email Please also visit our Web sites at,, and

The Campus Week of Dialogue and National College Week can capture the attention of the American public, and highlight efforts to provide educational leadership in your community and state. The U.S. Department of Education will provide media support, publications and other assistance as part of this national effort. I urge you to become involved in Many Paths, One Journey: Building One America and look forward to your participation.

Yours sincerely,

Secretary Riley's signature
Richard W. Riley