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Secretary Cardona Statement on Supreme Court Ruling on College Affirmative Action Programs

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“Today’s Supreme Court decision takes our country decades backward, sharply limiting a vital tool that colleges have used to create vibrant, diverse campus communities. Students of color have long faced inequities in education and college access, and today’s ruling is yet another blow to the fight for equal opportunity. As we consider today’s decision, our commitment to educational opportunity for all Americans is unshaken, and our efforts to promote diversity in higher education are undeterred. The Department of Education is a civil rights agency, committed to equal access and educational opportunity for all students.”

“I want to send a message to all aspiring students, especially Black, Latino, Asian American, Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and other students from underserved communities: we see you and we need you. Do not let this ruling deter you from pursuing your educational potential. Our colleges and our country itself cannot thrive and compete in the 21st century without your talent, ingenuity, perseverance, and ambition.  


“To our higher education leaders reviewing the decision: now is not the time to lessen your commitment to campus communities that reflect the rich diversity of this nation, which enhance the college experience in myriad ways and prepare students from all walks of life to live, work, and lead our democracy together. Your leadership and commitment to ensuring our educational institutions reflect the vast and rich diversity of our people are needed now more than ever. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to supporting you in pursuing all lawful practices that meet that goal. We will continue working with you to raise the bar for inclusivity and work intentionally to better support students of color, because the inequities that exist in higher education access and outcomes remain unacceptable.”

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