Today’s decision on Affirmative Action from the Supreme Court was a devastating blow to progress towards equity, justice, and our democratic tenets. It was also a reminder that elections matter. The impact of our votes goes far beyond who sits in the White House. They create ripple effects that reach every corner of our democracy.
Last year, the Latino Community Foundation was proud to join California Change Lawyers, Equal Justice Society and other California civil rights groups to sign onto an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court calling on the court to uphold affirmative action policies. Today, Justice Sotomayor cited this joint briefing in her dissenting opinion. Stating the decision in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard “subverts the constitutional guarantee of equal protection by further entrenching racial inequality in education, the very foundation of our democratic government and pluralistic society.”
Race-conscious admissions have been instrumental in increasing equal opportunity for Latino, Black, AAPI, and Native students since its inception. It was an attempt to get us closer to the ideals of this nation.
That’s why we must not grow weary in pressing forward. We must demand that our lawmakers create and execute laws that repair this harm. We must find ways to reform the Supreme Court so there is balance in perspective and lived experience. Our universities and colleges must create, implement and support admission policies and programs that will level the playing field for our communities.
What can be done can also be undone.
We will work until the scales of justice find their balance.
The Latino Community Foundation solidifies our commitment to continue investing and standing with our organizers and grassroot leaders who will advance the way forward.
By: Jacqueline Martinez Garcel, CEO, Latino Community Foundation
Image featuring: Nathalie Guillen, Brown Issues Sequoia Coleman, California Native Vote Project Bernadine Tuisavalalo, Central Valley Pacific Islander Alliance (CVPIA) Maya Ellen, Afrikan Black Coalition
Image credit: Bryan Patrick for LCF