For immediate release
March 6, 1998

Weekend Edition Saturday to Broadcast A Special Exploration of Affirmative Action at the University of Chicago

Washington, DC - On Saturday, March 14, 1998, NPR's Weekend Edition with Scott Simon features a special oral history of affirmative action's 30 year history at the University of Chicago. Weekend Edition will break format to broadcast this 35 minute story, told without narration in the voices of current and former students, faculty and administrators. Check with local NPR member stations for broadcast times.

The story examines attitudes about Chicago's institutional history of excellence and inclusion. In the piece, historian John Hope Franklin and sociologist William Julius Wilson recall the university's response to affirmative action pressures and their impact. Others who experienced affirmative action at Chicago share personal stories that bring perspective to the contemporary political debate.

Peabody Award-winning producer Sonja Williams produced this special story for NPR. She said, "I wanted to talk about the personal experience of affirmative action as opposed to hearing the ranting and raving about it in the current debate. How did it affect different people at different times at one of the nation's most respected institutions of higher learning?"

Tapes of the broadcast will be available to the media upon request. It also will be available after broadcast through the NPR Web site at

National Public Radio, a membership organization of 591 public radio stations nationwide, produces and distributes the award-winning programs All Things Considered®, Talk of the Nation®, Weekend Edition® and NPR's Performance Today®.