Struggles and Successes at Age 30Elizabeth Aries
In 2005, Elizabeth Aries chronicled what 58 Amherst College freshman—Black and white, affluent and lower-income—learned from racial and class diversity. Her study emphasized the value of campus diversity at elite colleges. Four years later, Aries interviewed the same students about their diversity experiences as they graduated. Now, eight years later , she re-interviews her participants to see how and to what extent race and class continue to play a role as they move into adulthood.
The Impact of College Diversity details how exposure to diversity in college helped shape Black and white graduates to process issues of economic and racial privilege and inequality at age 30. She investigates how college diversity experiences also facilitate the attainment of upward social mobility in lower-income students and the role that mobility played in their relationships with family and friends in their home communities. Aries further examines how interactions with peers of another race and class influenced development of citizenship skills and civic engagement, as well as Black students’ ability to cope with the challenges they faced in the professional world.
Aries concludes her study with a discussion of why elite colleges have been beneficial in promoting upward mobility in lower-income students, and the importance of achieving equity and inclusion in making diversity initiatives successful.