July 3, 2023

Statement: SCOTUS Votes to End Affirmative Action

July 3, 2023

Womankind strongly condemns the Supreme Court’s ruling that ends affirmative action in higher education. This decision not only defends systemic barriers rooted in racism and white supremacy, but it will also have long-lasting effects as racial divides are upheld in our communities.

The Womankind community has experienced firsthand the positive impact of affirmative action, where members were able to pursue higher education based on a holistic view of their applications and considerations of their various identities and circumstances. “With let-them-eat-cake obliviousness, today, the majority pulls the ripcord and announces 'colorblindness for all' by legal fiat. But deeming race irrelevant in law does not make it so in life,” says Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson in her dissenting opinion. Read these personal stories from 4 staff members who benefited from affirmative action (please click to enlarge):

California is one state that ended affirmative action at its colleges and universities in 1998, and you can read about its effects here. Ending affirmative action could have the following impact for communities today and in the future:

  • Difficulty accessing financial aid and creating diverse student communities on campuses
  • Limited program building that are race-conscious and uplift rich histories and experiences
  • Less diversity in the work force
  • Lower wages for students, particularly from Black and Latino communities, who could have earned more they had access to more selective universities

Womankind acknowledges that there is division within the Asian American community on the issue of affirmative action, and we urge for cross-racial unity as this decision is ultimately rooted in maintaining white supremacy. The AAPI community is not a monolith and viewing it as a homogenous group fails to address the class privilege and lack of access to resources that some groups experience.

  • According to a 2021 study by the Pew Research Center, AAPI communities have the highest disparities within any racial group when it comes to college attainment rates, income levels, and poverty rates.
  • Not every AAPI origin group fits the model minority myth that is often portrayed in popular culture. The Asian Americans Advancing Justice found that Southeast Asians, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders often face barriers to education and have greatly benefited from affirmative action in college admissions.

Womankind continues to hold steadfast in our commitment to racial equity and remain determined to do what is right by those we serve. We will not let this decision deter us from our vision of creating a future where we Rise Above Violence and our communities can innovate towards collective well-being, restoration, and social justice.