Today, with a 6-3 majority, the United States Supreme Court has functionally struck down the use of Affirmative Action at the university level, setting a dangerous precedent that will erode decades of work done to increase access to higher education for Black and Indigenous people and other people of color. Historically, white people have had access to higher education institutions at much higher rates than communities of color. Affirmative Action sought to rectify the underlying current of racism that systemically disenfranchises people of color and contextualize a student’s efforts in schools during the admissions process.
Today’s decision is a setback in our fight against systemic racism and may result in lower enrollment rates of BIPOC in universities across the nation. We soundly reject the notion that this decision moves equity forward, and we maintain that all learning institutions – but higher education in particular – must prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion.
As Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson wrote in her dissent, “deeming race irrelevant in law does not make it so in life.”
We stand with all communities of color and marginalized groups who are impacted by this decision and will continue to fight for justice and equity in education for all.