An Open Call to Action

We the Undersigned Affirm that: 

Equal opportunity for all and an inclusive democracy is a universal value and anything that threatens that shared principle is a threat to our multi-racial democracy and economy; 

A college degree provides unrivaled social and economic benefits, not just for the individual but for our entire country; 

Latinx, Black, Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI), and American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) students make up more than half of all students in our K-12 education system but have been historically underrepresented in higher education; 

The repercussions of not developing their talent and providing them with equal opportunity to pursue a college education will damage our economy and nation; 

A diverse student body strengthens the educational experience of students, faculty and campus leaders, bringing rich perspectives and dialogue to the academy; 

We have an educational, moral, and economic imperative to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to get a college education; 

Since the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, colleges and universities have made progress to foster greater racial integration and inclusivity but, more must be done to end a legacy of exclusion and segregation that barred Latinx, Black, Asian American, NHPI, AIAN, and women from accessing higher education;  

No court decision provides an excuse or permission for universities and colleges to return to an era of unchecked exclusion and segregation, which shuts out future generations of Latinx, Black, Asian American, NHPI, and AIAN students from higher education; 

Race-conscious admissions have been a powerful tool to address the legacy of racism and segregation in higher education, but it was never a panacea and more must and can be done to make college and university admissions truly equitable in opportunity for all Americans, not just the privileged few; 

We Therefore Call on Policymakers and Higher Education Leaders to Urgently: 

Review current practices and policies for equity and employ evidence-based proactive practices and policies that affirm equal opportunity in higher education, such as the elimination of standardized tests in admissions, ending legacy preferences, improving need-based financial aid, and strengthening transfer pathways; 

Eliminate policies and practices that are responsible for barring access or hindering success in higher education for Latinx, Black, Asian American, NHPI, and AIAN students, and therefore constitute discrimination; and, 

Remain steadfast in the pursuit of ensuring equal opportunity to a college education, regardless of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling to end the use of race-conscious admissions, knowing that addressing racial disparities remains both lawful and imperative to our Nation.

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