Today’s decision by the Supreme Court to end affirmative action in college admissions is another devastating ruling by the Court. For decades, Black, Indigenous, and students of color have fought to access higher education. With this ruling, the Court underscores the white supremacist ideals this country was founded on. 

By failing to recognize racism as a factor in students’ lives and educational experiences, the Court has ignored the continuing legacy of generations of exclusion. It fails to consider the inequities students of color deal with, and the role race-conscious admissions plays in mitigating those harmful effects.  

Since 1978, universities and colleges have been able to consider race as a factor in admissions to lessen the effects of historical racism and discrimination that continues to subject marginalized communities to systemic barriers. As a result, student populations on campus have become increasingly diverse. 

This decision threatens to create campuses that fail to reflect the world beyond their walls, with negative consequences for all students. The detrimental effect on students from backgrounds historically excluded from participating in higher education is clear. For all students, a diverse campus is an essential preparation for life in our country. 

While this most recent ruling affects only admissions in higher education, it is unmistakable that the agenda is to roll back civil rights protections in all sectors of life.  

These regressive actions undermine our progress in advancing social justice, equality, and inclusivity and will further erode racial justice. We must continue to raise our voices, mobilize our communities, and push for policies that prioritize equal access to education. 

The Edward W. Hazen Foundation’s grantees have remained resilient and steadfast in their commitment to advocacy and activism for their communities now and in the future. We stand beside those impacted by this ruling and will do all we can to ensure young people live in a just world where they have equal access to educational opportunities that transform their lives.