Upcoming Event

Anthony Abraham Jack at Harvard Book Store


Class Dismissed: When Colleges Ignore Inequality and Students Pay the Price 


September 5, 2024
7:00 PM ET


Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138


This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes Anthony Abraham Jack—author of The Privileged Poor and inaugural faculty director of the Boston University Newbury Center—for a discussion of his new book Class Dismissed: When Colleges Ignore Inequality and Students Pay the Price.

About Class Dismissed

Elite colleges are boasting unprecedented numbers with respect to diversity, with some schools admitting their first majority-minority classes. But when the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and racial unrest gripped the world, schools scrambled to figure out what to do with the diversity they so fervently recruited. And disadvantaged students suffered. Class Dismissed exposes how woefully unprepared colleges were to support these students and shares their stories of how they were left to weather the storm alone and unprotected.

Drawing on the firsthand experiences of students from all walks of life at elite colleges, Anthony Abraham Jack reveals the hidden and unequal worlds students navigated before and during the pandemic closures and upon their return to campus. He shows how COVID-19 exacerbated the very inequalities that universities ignored or failed to address long before campus closures. Jack examines how students dealt with the disruptions caused by the pandemic, how they navigated social unrest, and how they grappled with problems of race both on campus and off.

A provocative and much-needed book, Class Dismissed paints an intimate and unflinchingly candid portrait of the challenges of undergraduate life for disadvantaged students even in elite schools that invest millions to diversify their student body. Moreover, Jack offers guidance on how to make students’ path to graduation less treacherous—guidance colleges would be wise to follow.

Praise for Class Dismissed

“Anthony Abraham Jack powerfully illuminates the aspects of the student experience that exist beyond the gloss of the university brochure, showing how inequality reverberates both on and off campus and providing readers with specific frameworks for what equitable university policies could look like. Class Dismissed should be mandatory reading at every college in the country—for students and administrators alike.” —Clint Smith, #1 New York Times bestselling author of How the Word Is Passed

“Anthony Abraham Jack exposes the deep-seated inequalities that plague higher education and our society, elevating the voices of the most vulnerable students and daring colleges not only to listen, but to learn and transform. Class Dismissed is exemplary.” —Ibram X. Kendi, #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist

“A masterful book that illuminates the dark corners of college admission. Jack tells the stories of students who are used for brochures to show a diverse population and how they are failed and left without resources by the establishments that once welcomed them. Class Dismissed reveals how deep the roots of inequality are, describing what happens when the safety nets provided to those in poverty disappear.” —Stephanie Land, New York Times bestselling author of Maid and Class

Masking Policy

Masks are encouraged but not required for this event.

Anthony Abraham Jack
Anthony Abraham Jack

Anthony Abraham Jack

Anthony Abraham Jack is the inaugural faculty director of the Boston University Newbury Center and associate professor of higher education leadership at the Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Times Higher Education and on NPR and CNN. He is the author of The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.

While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.

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