UNCF Files Amicus Brief on Affirmative Action Case which Ensures Diversity in Education
Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin to be heard by U.S. Supreme Court today
Ashlei N. Stevens
WASHINGTON, DC—The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments today in the Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin case. The case is about ensuring diversity in education, and it presents a constitutional challenge to the university’s equal opportunity admissions policy. UNCF (United Negro College Fund) filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of diversity in higher education.
Today’s arguments mark the second time that the Supreme Court has decided to hear this affirmative action case. In its 2013 Fisher decision, the Court reaffirmed a longstanding precedent that diversity is a compelling state interest and that universities may consider ethnic and racial diversity as one of many factors in their respective admissions policies. UNCF General Counsel Desireé Boykin believes this important case will only help ensure that varying perspectives and experiences are reflected on college campuses nationwide through diversity.
“When you look at the tragedy last summer at Emanuel A.M.E. in Charleston that took nine Black lives, and even the most recent incidents in San Bernardino, it is clear that for the shooters, they saw the people that they were shooting as ‘different─’ racially, ethnically, economically, socially or otherwise – just different,” said Boykin. “And because they viewed these victims as different, they believed they could justify their actions. When people share their perspectives and experiences, they gain understanding of what makes us different but more importantly, what makes us all similar. Diversity in education affords us with the opportunity to share perspectives and experiences and without this diversity we will continue to have these tragedies across the country.”
As the largest private provider of scholarships to minorities in the nation, UNCF has been an active advocate for diversity in education since its founding 71 years ago, having filed Amicus briefs in the Grutter v. Bollinger and Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (Fisher I) cases. UNCF President and CEO Dr. Michael L. Lomax also spoke at the rally on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court of the United States on the day of the Fisher arguments back in October of 2012.
Policy partner, the National Urban League, signed on to UNCF’s Amicus brief in support of affirmative action in university admissions.
Related UNCF Amicus Briefs
Grutter v. Bollinger
UNCF (the United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, supports and strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 21 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized trademark, ‟A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at UNCF.org or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.