We are dismayed by the recent Supreme Court ruling, which effectively ends race-conscious affirmative action in the United States. These recent decisions on two cases, Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. (SFFA) v. President and Fellows of Harvard and SFFA v. University of North Carolina set a stage for future educational policies, practices and mindsets and send a message that race and racism no longer impact the life-chances and outcomes of individuals and communities. As Californians, who have experienced the ill-effects of a 27-year ban on Affirmative Action, we are profoundly aware of the deleterious impact on educational equity that this ruling will have- specifically on historically minoritized communities of color. Such diminishment of equity impacts us all. As King wrote, “we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.”
As a School of Education, we are driven by reflective research, community knowledge and a goal of enacting greater educational equity. At this pivotal moment we re-commit to equity, to anti-racism and to the belief that quality education for all people is liberatory. We urge educators everywhere to take note of these current rulings, to educate themselves on potential impacts and to learn about the educational experiences and opportunities of communities of color. In the coming school year, the School of Education will host talks and engage our faculty, students and the greater community in conversations, readings and reflections on affirmative action and this most recent ruling. As an early resource, we invite you to read the very recently published Atlantic article ‘Race Neutral’ is the New ‘Separate But Equal, ’written by UCR SOE faculty Uma M. Jayakumar and Ibram X. Kendi.
As King wrote, “the moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” As educational leaders, we have a hand in bringing about justice. Instead of being stilled by the recent rulings, let us use this moment as an opportunity to place more energy into addressing the barriers preventing Black, Latino, AAPI, and Indigenous students from accessing and thriving in universities, colleges and K-12 schools.
UCR School of Education
Joi A. Spencer, Dean
Uma Jayakumar, PhD, Equity Advisor