Our statement on the Supreme Court’s decision to end affirmative action

Jun 29, 2023 | Blog, Updates

The Supreme Court has ruled that colleges cannot take race into consideration when deciding which students will be offered admission. While a decision to not allow race-based admissions may sound fair on the surface, remember: affirmative action is about equity. When marginalized groups have a starting line that is further back than privileged groups, things like affirmative action help us level the playing field to ensure student populations represent all of our communities proportionately. The passage of affirmative action in the 1960’s has meant thousands of Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color (BIPOC) students became the “firsts” in their fields, eventually graduating and moving into various positions of leadership, paving pathways for future generations to more easily follow their footsteps, as role models challenging the status quo.

SCOTUS today has taken that opportunity for equity away from us, all while legacy admissions still remain in place, which allow colleges to consider whether students have had a family member previously attend the college. Since for much of our country’s history, BIPOC students were not allowed to attend most universities, legacy admissions disproportionately benefit white students. Today’s decision has tipped the scales in favor of giving white students even more of an upper hand in getting accepted into universities while students of color continue to face barriers.

We understand that this SCOTUS decision is representative of growing extremism on the court toward limiting the rights and freedoms of marginalized communities, alongside overturning the right to abortion and making it harder to address the climate crisis. We continue to question the ability of this court to make decisions that center the well being of marginalized people in our country.

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