Advocating for Inclusion and Equity in Higher Education

For over 40 years, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld affirmative action, contributing to more vibrant student bodies and learning experiences across college classrooms

For the past eighteen years, the Campaign has been the only independent voice in California exclusively focused on expanding college access, improving college completion, and closing the equity gaps by race and gender that persist in higher education. Our commitment to advocating for student’s rights to high-quality higher education free of roadblocks has never been as crucial as it is now, as evidenced by challenges to affirmative action in college admissions in the cases of SFFA v. Harvard College and SFFA v. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

What is at stake?

Twenty-five years ago in 1996, California passed Proposition 209, making it one of nine states to ban race-based affirmative action in college admissions, public contracts, and hiring. The consequences have since been resounding, causing Black and Latinx student populations at California’s universities to plummet dramatically. Despite California’s demographics becoming more diverse, including a growth of college-aged Black and Latinx individuals, the state has struggled to increase Black and Latinx student enrollment to meet this growth. Latinx Californians, for example, are the fastest-growing demographic group, now representing 36% of California. Representation is undoubtedly essential to providing rich and culturally relevant educational experiences, but our state’s inability to enroll students that reflect the diversity of Californians, especially at the University of California, spells serious impacts for the livelihood of our state. The worrisome effects of Proposition 209 thus signal troubling consequences for colleges and universities across the nation should the U.S. Supreme Court ban the use of affirmative action in college admissions.

Key Facts

University of California, Los Angeles Student Demographics Before and After Prop 209

How California Can Lead for Diversity

No matter the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the cases, The Campaign is poised to elevate equity-minded policies and practices nationwide by using lessons learned from California’s response to Prop 209. Learn more about our areas of work and how each contributes to a brighter, more equitable future for our nation’s students.

Defend Diversity With Us

Stay tuned for updates to our efforts in expanding equity in higher education and protecting affirmative action in college admissions by joining our action network.