Silence at Boalt Hall
The Dismantling of Affirmative Action
Andrea Guerrero
September 2002

In 1995, in a marked reversal of progress in the march toward racial equity,
the Board of Regents voted to end affirmative action at the University of
California. One year later the electorate voted to do the same across the
state of California. Silence at Boalt Hall is the thirty-year story of students,
faculty, and administrators struggling with the politics of race in higher
education at U.C. Berkeley's prestigious law school—one of the first
institutions to implement affirmative action policies and one of the first to be
forced to remove them. Andrea Guerrero is a member of the last class of
students admitted to Boalt Hall under the affirmative action policies. Her
informed and passionate journalistic account provides an insider's view into
one of the most pivotal and controversial issues of our time: racial diversity
in higher education.

Guerrero relates the stories of those who benefited from affirmative action
and those who suffered from its removal. She shows how the "race-blind"
admission policies at Boalt have been far from race-neutral and how the
voices of underrepresented minority students have largely disappeared. A
hushed silence—the silence of students, faculty, and administrators
unwilling and unable to discuss the difficult issues of race—now hangs over
Boalt and many institutions like it, Guerrero claims. As the legal and
sociopolitical battles over affirmative action continue on a number of
consequential fronts, this book provides a rich and engrossing perspective
on many facets of this crucial question.
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