September 27, 2011 UC Berkeley College Republicans' Affirmative Action Bake Sale Resources

Listed below are an incomplete list of research, teaching resources and media coverage of the 9/26/2011 UC Berkeley College Republicans Student Group Affirmative Action Bake Sale.  If you have additional resources or even categories of resources that you believe would be helpful for this web page please click on the blue button on the lower left portion of this page that reads "Have a resource to suggest?"  or leave a comment at the bottom of this page.  We hope this page is useful to capitalize on this teachable moment in our community.

Timely Resources on Affirmative Action 


Teaching Affirmative Action Resources

Teaching and Facilitation Resources

Media Coverage

Thoughts, Ideas and Support


Timely Resources on Affirmative Action


Back to the top

Teaching Affirmative Action Resources

Back to the top

Teaching and Facilitation Resources

Back to the top

Media Coverage:

National Public Radio:

The Berkeley Blog:

Daily Californian:

CNN / KGO Coverage


  • CNN / KGO video coverage of the bake sale below

  • CNN Interview with UC Berkeley President of the College Republicans Student Group, Shaun Lewis and Author Tim Wise

Back to the Top

Thoughts, Ideas and Support

The following posts are edited versiond of a number of thoughts, ideas and support offered in response to the bakesale, in addition to responses to a request by MEP staff to various professional and academic networks across the country.   We hope you find them helpful.

Students from UC Berkeley Host an Alternative Bakesale

Increase Diversity Bake Sale event on Facebook

From Dr. Jeffrey Spires, Colgate University

The New York Times article that came out just this Wednesday might be useful:

In particular, I enjoyed giving the following quotes in a class I teach:

"In the survey, 10 percent of the admissions directors at four-year colleges — and almost 20 percent at private liberal-arts schools — said that the full-pay students they were admitting, on average, had lower grades and test scores than other admitted applicants.  "But they are not the only ones with an edge: the admissions officers said they admitted minority students, athletes, veterans, children of alumni, international students and, for the sake of gender balance, men, with lesser credentials, too."

"The Weekly Standard," not generally known for progressive thinking, also had an article on this:

From Dr. Tracy Davis, Western Illinois University

...It would be interesting to play the following footage from an affirmative action debate next to the bake sale folks.  It is a fact-packed and research-based speech during a debate by Tim Wise.  He beautifully illustrates how those who wish to end affirmative action ignore the affirmative action polices and practices that have been and currently are in place to benefit "White" people.  

Interestingly, Kimberle Crenshaw, the scholar who helped illuminate the importance of identity intersectionality also was part of this debate.  Her portion of the debate shows up at this site as well.


Jeff Cullen, University of Maryland Baltimore County

I have a conceptual idea in response to your AA bake sale. Probably not something you could do overnight, because it would take a little research and production time, but it would be both fun and powerful to have white allies handing out "white supremacy bucks" (printed on white paper of course). The front side could look like currency and have a dollar value and the image of like our currency (former presidents). The back side could have an explanation of how some aspect of white privilege gives white people TODAY a financial leg-up in society. The tabling approach could be to call out to folks, "Hey, ____________(students/people staffing the bakesale table)! Let me give you some free money!" and then try and engage them in conversation about white privilege.

So for example, because of bank's practices of redlining mortgage loans and HOA covenants, whites were able to buy housing stock in "good neighborhoods" while People of Color were restricted from doing so. This created intergenerational wealth transfer and access to better schools for whites. Could this be worth at least $500,000 to today's Berkeley student? You could be a little playful with it...

You might want to have approximately 8-10 white-privilege call outs be well-researched, because someone will try and research what you're saying and disprove it. The book by Katznelson "When Affirmative Action Was White" comes to mind as a potential resource. The Tim Wise video that Tracy Davis mentions could also be a good starting point.


From Dr. Penny Pasque, University of Oklahoma

....Thanks for sharing the information. I watched the videos of Tim Wise & Kimberle Crenshaw – great info that I share in my Diversity and Higher Education course…. But this way, students can hear it from someone other than me. 

Another thing I share is that, for example – say 4000 people apply but there are only 1000 spots. First, all who do not meet qualifications are not accepted. Then, for example, there are 1500 applicants left (for only 1000 spots)…. How do you decide who gets in and who does not? Legacy, Comm Service, Affirmative Action, rural & urban experiences, Leadership contributions, etc – it’s up to the committee to decide (not thru points anymore) but through examination of each individual student where the admissions counselors have to decide who would be the best fit for the institution. So – everyone who is let in deserves to be there. Not everyone can be accepted. AND – research used in the US Supreme Court Case that was quite compelling to the judges was (Gurin, Hurtado, Dey, & Gurin, 2002, Harvard Ed Review) that diversity DOES matter on campus. They also parcel out Structural Diversity, Classroom Diversity & Interactional Diversity… ALL is important to students on campus now, and 10 years after graduation. All three are needed (i.e. not just simply structural diversity).

Update from 23 February 2012:

...Also, I do a ‘cross the line’ exercise with the students. First, I give the definition for affirmative action WITHOUT using the words and students are to “cross the line” and go to the “yes, I support this statement” side or “no, I do not support this statement” side of the line. Then we discuss. My next question is “I support affirmative action”. I am always AMAZED at the students who switch sides based on my using the words “affirmative action”… then we unpack from there. 

From Tim Miller, George Washington University

At GW we had this event last year and it was interesting to say the least.  My primary focus is supporting the safety and welfare of our students.  Secondly, my goal was to provide an opportunity for all sides to be equally represented.  Since the one student group had appropriately booked the space for their event the space was theirs to use.  I then spoke with both "sides" of the debate and identified a location adjacent to the bake sale for the other voices to be heard.  They were allowed to engage in a discussion with the event hosts so long as they did not block others from participating.  It was a testy and challenging day but all voices were able to be heard.  Here is the article covering the event.

Page updated 20130123 cja

Back to the top