June 29th, 2023 — In response to today’s Supreme Court ruling in the case of Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College, effectively ending affirmative action, Rosemary Rivera, Executive Director of Citizen Action of New York, issued the following statement:
“Affirmative action is crucial and necessary due to the historical exclusion of Black, Indigenous, and people of color from white-dominated institutions of higher learning, and given the ongoing impacts of that discrimination. Even with this essential check against racial discrimination, Black and Indigenous people continue to be underrepresented in predominantly white institutions.
“Ending affirmative action is inviting a return to policies that have intentionally disparate impacts on people based on race or ethnicity. This is unacceptable, especially given current programs that give preference to young people whose parents attended the universities and colleges, further skewing acceptance rates towards wealthy white students.
“Meanwhile, the era of blatant, de jure racial discrimination was within the lifetimes of many people alive today. The equitable world for which we fight is one where students who have faced discrimination, and whose parents, grandparents, and ancestors have faced discrimination, are given an opportunity to access education that has historically been denied.”