DETROIT, MI – Rising Voices issued the following statement on today’s US Supreme Court rulings in SFFA v. Harvard and SFFA v. University of North Carolina. The statement can be attributed to Rising Voices Co-Executive Director Jasmine Rivera:
Rising Voices strongly condemns the Supreme Court decisions ending race-conscious admissions practices and undoing 45 years of legal precedent by the conservative majority court. We firmly believe affirmative action is an important tool necessary to combat systemic racism in education. It is needed to ensure diversity and equitable access in higher education for Black, Latinx, Indigenous, AAPI, and other historically marginalized student groups. The potential impact will undoubtedly be less diverse student bodies at colleges and universities in the years to come and cascade into a less diverse workforce, business leaders, and elected officials.
The two cases brought before the Supreme Court were cherry-picked by a right-wing conservative group peddling white supremacist ideology wanting to use Asian Americans as pawns and drive a wedge by pitting Asian Americans against other communities of color. We wholeheartedly reject the harmful narrative that Asian Americans at large oppose affirmative action, when in fact a 2022 Asian American Voter Survey found that nearly 70 percent of Asian Americans support affirmative action.
We will not let the decisions today reverse the progress and power BIPOC communities have built together. Rising Voices stands in solidarity with our partners and community members in Michigan and across the country to call on all colleges and universities to actively support efforts to ensure racial justice in all aspects of student and campus life. This includes measures such as eliminating the use of racially-biased SAT and ACT scores in undergraduate admissions, eliminating legacy admissions that exclude students of color, providing financial support to low-income students, and strengthening targeted recruitment efforts to underrepresented student populations.
To every student hearing the decision today, know this: you still matter and we will keep showing up for you. We need your gifts and talents. We need your leadership. Do not allow them to tell you that you don’t belong. We are with you, and we will fight together. You belong and we all belong.
Rising Voices, a project of the Center for Empowered Politics, is a nonprofit 501(c)(4) organization that seeks to increase the civic participation of Asian Americans in Michigan by developing the leadership, organizing, and power-building capacity of Asian American women, youth and communities. It is the state’s first 501(c)(4) organization dedicated to political organizing and mobilizing for Asian American issues in Michigan. risingvoicesaaf.org