Below is the letter we will send to U.S. colleges and universities and corporate employers:
Tell U.S. Colleges, Universities, and Corporations to Level the Playing Field!
The U.S. Supreme Court decision on affirmative action opens the floodgates to racial discrimination in college admissions and chips away at a critical tool in the fight against the structural inequities that hold Black communities back.
At its most basic level, affirmative action is about fairness and righting the wrongs and inequities of our nation’s past and present. From Jim Crow disenfranchisement to the perpetuation of privilege in higher education, Black people have long suffered indignities that kept us on the outside looking in. In 2019, the National Bureau of Economic Research found that 43% of white students admitted to Harvard University were recruited athletes, legacy students, children of faculty or staff, or on the dean’s interest list (applicants whose parents or relatives have donated to Harvard). Without these advantages, roughly 75% of these students would have been rejected.
Affirmative action was one of the antidotes to practices that rig power, wealth and access in favor of white people – and against Black people. Because that poison still exists across the nation, we need more policies that will eliminate those rigged, unfair advantages — not less. We need racial equity antidotes to overcome the poison of past and present racism and discrimination.
Let’s be clear: Affirmative action goes beyond college admissions.
In states that banned affirmative action before this ruling, the proportion of students from underrepresented backgrounds at publicly funded medical schools fell by more than a third in just five years. With just 5.7% of all physicians identifying as Black, the repeal of the equitable admissions process could further reduce these numbers, making it even harder for our communities to access safe, unbiased and holistic medical care. Should corporations fail to devise equitable hiring practices, then Black communities will continue to encounter barriers to a livable wage. In other words, Black people’s livelihoods are on the line.
Ultimately, additional restrictions on affirmative action and similar equity policies will result in losses in our presence, as well as losses in our POWER — wealth-building opportunities, career advancement, higher education, compassionate health care, etc.
Losing is not an option. Join COC in demanding that U.S. colleges and universities and corporate employers do what the U.S. Supreme Court refused: Ensure that Black and marginalized communities retain access to higher education!
Here is the Petition:
To U.S. colleges and universities and corporate employers:
The gutting of affirmative action by the U.S. Supreme Court necessitates swift action at this moment. With this latest decision, the Supreme Court has sided squarely with those who have the most power and advantages that Black people don’t get, which shuts us out of colleges, jobs, loans, housing, voting and so much more.
The court’s decision will take our country back to the privilege-based admissions systems that excluded entire groups of people from higher education.
However, the consequences of this decision may extend far beyond college admissions. This could lead to less diversity in health care, which could increase preventable health complications among Black people; fewer career opportunities and promotions, which could limit Black financial freedom and wealth-building; and so much more.
For this reason, I am asking that you take meaningful action to reduce racial bias and discrimination in your respective admissions and hiring processes and to combat structural racism in all forms.