UNCF Statement on the U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision on Fisher V. University of Texas at Austin
Ashlei N. Stevens
WASHINGTON, DC—The U.S. Supreme Court today issued its much-anticipated decision (4-3) on Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, a case challenging the use of race-conscious admissions policies at the University of Texas at Austin. The Supreme Court affirmed the 5th Circuit decision and held that it is lawful for admissions programs to consider ethnic and racial diversity as one of many factors in their respective policies in use at the time of a petitioner’s application.
As the largest private provider of scholarships to minorities in the nation, UNCF (United Negro College Fund) has been an advocate for diversity in education since its founding 72 years ago, and has filed Amicus briefs in the Grutter v. Bollinger and the Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin 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 in October of 2012. He declared today’s decision as a victory for campus diversity.
“We are pleased that the Supreme Court has reaffirmed their prior decision in support of diversity in higher education,” said Lomax. “Diversity in campus enrollment promotes cross-racial understanding, helps break down racial stereotypes, and enables students to better understand people of different races and cultures. The Supreme Court’s decision today is a win for those who believe that we can learn about each other’s unique abilities through celebrating our differences.”
UNCF General Counsel Desireé C. Boykin, Esq., concurs that this important decision will only help ensure that varying perspectives are reflected on college campuses nationwide through diversity.
“Diversity in America and in higher education isn’t aspirational; it is critical to our college campuses, to our democracy and to our economy,” Boykin said. “When people share their perspectives and experiences, they gain an understanding of what makes us different, but more importantly, what makes us all similar.”
UNCF (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, 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 nearly 20 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF awards more than $100 million in scholarships annually and 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. 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. For continuous news and updates, follow UNCF on Twitter, at @UNCF.