Statement: The Supreme Court’s Affirmative Action Ruling

In a landmark decision that has sent shockwaves, the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled against affirmative action in college admissions. On Thursday, the court declared that race cannot be a factor in the admissions process, compelling higher education institutions to seek alternative methods for achieving diversity among their student bodies. The conservative majority of the court specifically overturned admissions plans at Harvard and the University of North Carolina, which are the nation’s oldest private and public colleges, respectively. 

The implications of this decision are vast and go beyond education. For many, education serves as a pathway to economic liberation – a means to rise above the limitations placed by systemic and historical injustices. In stripping away affirmative action, the ruling threatens to erect new barriers on this pathway. The elimination of affirmative action serves as a forewarning of the possible dismantling of other initiatives aimed at combating systemic inequities, programs such as workforce development, support for minority-owned businesses, and healthcare initiatives tailored to mitigate disparities. The withdrawal of these programs intensifies the ingrained obstacles faced by our communities, impeding advancements in closing the racial wealth gap, achieving economic stability, and building Black wealth. 

Additionally, with reduced access to higher education, we are likely to witness a decline in the representation of communities of color in positions of influence and decision-making. This includes government, corporate leadership, academia, and other fields. This lack of representation could subsequently result in the further marginalization of Black voices and interests in crucial policy and decision-making processes. 

We, at the African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs, strongly urge lawmakers, educators, community leaders, and concerned citizens to understand the gravity of this ruling and its potential ripple effects. It is imperative to vigorously protect and advocate for policies and programs that promote diversity, inclusion, and equity across all sectors of society.  

This decision represents a monumental setback in our nation’s collective efforts to rectify historical and systemic inequities in Black communities and create environments that reflect the rich tapestry of our nation.  We call upon institutions of higher education to redouble their efforts in seeking innovative approaches to foster diversity and inclusivity, ensuring that the doors of opportunity remain open to all.  

We must stand together in solidarity and action, to work towards a future that truly reflects and serves the diversity of America. We owe it to our future generations to fight for a world where opportunity and representation are not determined by one’s racial background.   

Be Steadfast! 

Lenwood V. Long, Sr. 

President & CEO, African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs