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Talking about Race and Education

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February 7, 2008 11:00am - 2:00pm

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Justice Stephen G. Breyer will participate in a symposium in Hawaii that examines a legal challenge to the Kamehameha Schools' policy of giving admissions preferences to Native Hawaiians.

The private school, which enrolls 6,550 students on three campuses in Hawaii, last year settled a lawsuit brought on behalf of a white student who was denied admission to the school. The Kamehameha Schools had won a ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, in San Francisco, that upheld its policy. The court agreed that the schools' definition of Native Hawaiians was a racial classification, but the majority said the preferential admissions policy was designed to counteract the educational deficits of Native Hawaiian children.

The symposium at the University of Hawaii's law school is part of a whole week of activity in which Justice Breyer will be a "jurist-in-residence" at the school. Other participants in the session on the Kamehameha Schools' admissions policy will include Kathleen Sullivan, the Stanley Morrison Professor of Law and Former Dean of the Stanford Law School, who defended the schools' policy in court, and Eric Grant, a Sacramento, Calif., lawyer who represented the white student who challenged the policy.