Padilla Statement on Supreme Court Decision Ending Affirmative Action
“Every person of color can tell you that discrimination based on race has impacted their life — and forcing colleges to ignore this obvious reality sets our country back decades in reaching racial equity.
“I remember when I was a student at San Fernando High School wondering if I would have the same opportunities in higher education because of who I was and where I grew up. Limiting colleges and universities’ ability to consider race in the admissions process will reduce access and opportunities for students of color who are just as smart, qualified, and deserving, but who haven’t benefited from the same resources or support. Affirmative action does not mean requiring diversity quotas or mandates.
“Look no further than California where we’ve experienced this harm for decades. After banning consideration of race in admissions at our state universities in 1996, qualified students of color saw dramatically lower application and admission rates.“The Supreme Court’s decision to end affirmative action will deepen the racial divide in higher education admissions. And that divide will undoubtedly exacerbate workforce and wage disparities. Despite this setback, we must persevere in the fight to level the playing field and expand the promise of the American Dream.”