Today, June 29, 2023, the United States Supreme Court rolled back decades of progress on educational opportunity and socioeconomic mobility by narrowing the consideration of race in higher education admissions. In response to this egregious ruling by the Supreme Court in Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. University of North Carolina, YWCA USA CEO Margaret Mitchell issued the following statement:
“For the last 45 years, affirmative action has paved the way for equity in higher education. With today’s ruling, the Supreme Court has undermined decades of precedent and essential progress for students of color for whom the doors of educational opportunity and socioeconomic mobility too often remain closed. At a time when America’s future depends on the full economic inclusion of all communities, countless young people will now be met with more barriers to accessing higher education and the career opportunities an academic degree can bring.
We all lose when the bright minds who could fuel the next generation of innovation and economic achievement are denied equitable access to higher education. I fear for young women of color who face the dual realities of race and sex discrimination and attacks on their reproductive rights—and for people of color, gender-diverse individuals, and other marginalized communities who face unrelenting legislative attacks on their rights, safety, and opportunities.
While we once again face a steep barrier to diversifying the student bodies of colleges and universities, we at YWCA stand firm in our resolve to get up and do the work of equity. We will continue to work in solidarity with our partners, advocates, and allies to tear down barriers to opportunity and to advance justice so that pathways to higher education and leadership are open to all. Our democracy demands no less.”