Join Us for a Community Conversation on SCOTUS and Affirmative Action

Dear CC Community, 

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy ordered businesses working for the U.S. government to treat workers and people applying for jobs “without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin.” He said the businesses should take “affirmative action” to make this happen. Colleges soon followed. 

This June, the Supreme Court will decide on two affirmative action cases, both of which have the power to potentially alter the landscape of higher education. The plaintiff in both, Students for Fair Admissions, is challenging race-conscious admissions at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina. The possible ripple effects from the case rulings range from CC not being allowed to consider race or “lived experience” in our admissions practices, to how we create certain curriculum, to how we distribute financial aid to our students. 

In a 2019 Pew Research Center survey, 73% of American adults said colleges should not consider race or ethnicity as part of a college’s admissions decisions, and three years later American public opinion on the topic remains nearly unchanged, with 74% holding the same position. However, race-conscious admissions tend to lead to more diverse college campuses, and research shows that diversity benefits all students. A 2019 study by the American Council on Education found that racial and ethnic diversity in education and the workforce leads to greater productivity, innovation and cultural competency.

Please join President L. Song Richardson, professor Doug Edlin, and panelists Rosalie Rodriguez, senior associate dean for student equity and inclusion, Christina Leza, associate professor for anthropology, and Karen Kristof, associate vice president and dean of admission, as they discuss the origins of affirmative action, the cases currently in front of the court, and the possible ramifications of the Supreme Court decisions next month for Colorado College. 

This Community Conversation will take place Monday, May 8, at 3:30 p.m. in the Cornerstone Screening Room. To ensure maximum participation, we are asking supervisors to allow any employee to join the 90-minute event if possible. If you wish to participate virtually, you can join the discussion via the Zoom webinar. Register in advance.

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