This morning, the United States Supreme Court ruled against Affirmative Action, specifically in college and University admissions. As I draft this message, I’m experiencing a wave of emotions from exhaustion, anger, and righteousness. As someone who needed the opportunity, support, and access provided by Affirmative Action, my heart aches for our students. I feel this very deeply.
This decision reverses more than fifty years of efforts toward racial equity in education. Now, more than ever, our work at College Possible Minnesota is essential. “If the colleges of this country are required to ignore a thing that matters, it will not just go away, ” said Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson in her dissenting opinion. “It will take longer for racism to leave us. And, ultimately, ignoring race just makes it matter more.” As firm believers in education as a path to economic equity, we are all being called upon to roll up our sleeves, recalibrate, strategize, and support as many students as possible in Minnesota.
Behind the scenes, we are mobilizing our relationships with our Minnesota senators and representatives, as well as the Minnesota Office of Higher Education with the goal of keeping College Possible Minnesota at the forefront of any additional protections in our state. We have reached out in solidarity to other college access programs, and we will remain in contact with Professor Karen Miksch from the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota for additional trainings and opportunities to keep our team moving forward.
In addition, in partnership with Macalester College, we are facilitating a luncheon and round table discussion for Minnesota college admissions leaders in August. Our plan is that this event will be the first of many discussions held in the coming months and years that enable us to support more disadvantaged students earn a college degree.
The historic implications of this decision will be felt for years to come. In her dissenting opinion, Justice Sotomayor stated, “Society’s progress toward equality cannot be permanently halted…The pursuit of racial diversity will go on…Ignoring race will not equalize a society that is racially unequal. What was true in the 1860s, and again in 1954, is true today: Equality requires acknowledgment of inequality.” Today is a day we unite to advocate for our students and their futures. Help us keep Minnesota students’ college dream a reality by making a gift today.
As an organization, we remain steadfast in our commitment to supporting students from historically underrepresented backgrounds to navigate the complex college application process and thrive through degree completion. Our mission of creating pathways to higher education and empowering students to achieve their full potential is more critical than ever. As we continue to adapt next year’s programming following these decisions, we will be guided by our commitment to our values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We remain even more committed to the beliefs and practices that foster a multi-racial community.
We will continue to keep you all apprised of key decisions and opportunities for partnerships as we work together to further the mission of College Possible Minnesota.
Yours in partnership,
Dr. Aida Martinez-Freeman
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