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Supreme Court & Race-Conscious Admissions

ACCEPT's Statement on the Supreme Court's decision regarding race-conscious admissions (June 29, 2023)

“With let-them-eat-cake obliviousness, today, the majority pulls the ripcord and announces “colorblindness for all” by legal fiat. But deeming race irrelevant in law does not make it so in life. And having so detached itself from this country’s actual past and present experiences, the Court has now been lured into interfering with the crucial work that UNC and other institutions of higher learning are do- ing to solve America’s real-world problems.

–Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, writing in dissent

Today’s ruling from the Supreme Court regarding race-conscious admissions practices is deeply disappointing and not surprising. As Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson wrote in her dissent, deeming race irrelevant in the law does not make it so. This is not time to back down in the fight for racial equity in higher education.

ACCEPT affirms that:

  • There are measurable and unacceptable gaps in post-secondary education attainment by race and ethnicity. Racialized problems demand racialized solutions.
  • Educational excellence for all demands inclusive and diverse institutions that provide the support and tools for student success.
  • The Court did not take away students’ freedom to fully express themselves in their college applications and share their talents, experiences, how they would contribute to the university community, and how race affects their lives.
  • These cases and decisions are about race-conscious selective college admissions and nothing else. It is important that as professionals and institutions we do not overreact or overreach. Stakeholders concerned about educational opportunity, and equal opportunity more broadly, should not do the opposition’s work for them by adding fuel to the fire.
    Today, we must tell every student,

    "Know this: you still matter and we will keep showing up for you. We need your gifts and talents. We need your leadership. Do not allow them to tell you that you don’t belong. We are with you, and we will fight together. You belong and we all belong."

    “Notwithstanding this Court’s actions, however, society’s progress toward equality cannot be permanently halted. Diversity is now a fundamental American value, housed in our varied and multicultural American community that only continues to grow. The pursuit of racial diversity will go on.”

    --Justice Sonia Sotomayor, writing in dissent

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