Archived Information

The White House

May 14, 1999

Dear President:

In June 1997 on the campus of the University of California at San Diego, President Clinton announced the creation of the President's Initiative on Race, an effort to help us build One America in the 21st century -- a nation of people who respect their diversity and embrace the values which unite them. It is not surprising that the President chose to announce this historic effort on a university campus. Every year, America becomes more racially and ethnically diverse, and institutions of higher education play an essential role in reaching young people, our future leaders, and bridging racial divides. Therefore, your institution's involvement is vital to the success of the invaluable efforts begun by the President's Initiative on Race, which now continues through the President's Initiative for One America.

Last year we celebrated a very successful Campus Week of Dialogue: Over 600 colleges and universities participated in town hall meetings, student leadership activities, community-university partnerships, and other campus events. This year, during the week of October 4-8, 1999, the President's Initiative for One America will engage colleges and universities across the nation in the 2nd annual Campus Week of Dialogue. The week will consist of campus events across the country designed to foster understanding among the many cultures that comprise our nation's learning institutions. We strongly urge you to participate in this historic Initiative by organizing some or all of the following events during the week of October 4-8.

As you organize your activities, we encourage you to consider what tangible results you would like from the events and follow up with us to let us know if you met your goals. We have enclosed a reply form to enable you to let us know your plans. Please complete the reply form and return it to the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education, by July 15, 1999, if possible. After we receive your reply, we will send you a packet of information that may help you to carry out your activities, including a race dialogue kit.

If you have questions or comments, please contact the Campus Dialogue Team in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education by calling Kendra Brooks at (202) 205-2109, Donald Conner (202) 708-5588, or Suzanne Hodges (202) 401-6143.

Again, we strongly encourage you to take part in this important, historic national dialogue. Thank you for your interest and consideration.


Richard W. Riley
Secretary of Education
Robert (Ben) Johnson
Assistant to the President
Director, President's Initiative for One America


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