In many respects, our decision to organize this Outliers Project was based on evidence that students of color are often “underrepresented” as participants in major extracurricular intellectual activities at SIUE and various other universities. We figured that an interactive, common reading project concerning reconsiderations of “success” might advance our goal of expanding scholarly participation among Haley Scholars—a group that involves a large racially and ethnically diverse mix of folks.
One thing that we’ve learned from side conversations and the comments section is that many of us struggle to identify some of the invisible barriers to success. Even Gladwell spends more time discussing the special opportunities as opposed to obstacles or challenges. We are especially less talkative about structural or institutional barriers.
So after reading Outliers, what’s something university officials could or should be thinking about in order to remove barriers to success that impede large numbers of students of color at SIUE?
Or, what's a topic that Gladwell raised concerning "special opportunities" that deserves more of our attention at SIUE, for instance, if our interest is in seeing a larger, more diverse group of students succeed?