The Dignified Learning Project was initially created because of the work that we were already doing around college accessibility and transforming systems. What started as guiding and working with high school seniors and transfer students blossomed into something that we hoped to have lasting impact on education as a whole, going beyond college application support, but also recognizing and changing the systems that produced the inequities in-place that essentially set up conditions where individuals needed support to begin with. We believe deeply that college should be accessible to anybody who has a desire to learn, but unfortunately, admissions themselves are inherently problematic. Yet, within those conditions, we have also recognized a need to navigate these structures while actively working toward something better.
It is because of these reasons and beliefs that we wholeheartedly disagree with SCOTUS' Decision on Affirmative Action, which is an inherently racist decision that will set back years of progress and encourage the perpetuation of marginalization of people by racial identity.
It is not unknown by now that SCOTUS ended Affirmative Action, assuming that race was one of the only factors that colleges, places of work, and government situations considered in terms of creating equitable conditions. There are significant issues with this ruling, primarily a lack of knowledge, understanding of history, and a level of privilege that is attached to this ruling and those who decided this. The reality is that systems have been, and continue to be, in place that continue to create barriers. If one is acquainted with historical facts, one would soon realize that there has been a continual effort to minoritize and marginalize individuals and groups of people through laws within our system. Quite frankly, there are far too many note, but they have often overlapped with racial identity as the United States has a longstanding history of racism.
Many people remark that we have seen progress and that we have come so far, so these laws are not needed. While yes, we have seen progress, we are still not equitable. However, these laws are the laws that have pushed us to progress as a society, to ensure diversity, to go beyond diversity and challenge institutional decisions, and to continue encouraging, and attempting to welcome, people who have not been historically welcomed in predominately white spaces. Our systems and structures in place in the United States were not designed with anybody but white, straight, non-disabled men in mind. This is factual. This is historical. And it appears to venture into no longer being historical, but instead the conditions of today, 2023.
And while Affirmative Action is not perfect, nobody has pretended it to be. In reality, People of Color still face discouraging obstacles in our society - but it did create substantial progress. This is a primary example of why we need Affirmative Action. Policies and laws in place that have, and were, created to created equitable practices to offset racist history have created environments where we are more voices present in ongoing conversations. Laws were not created by People of Color historically, but pushing our government to enact policy that requires makes our government, and those in those position, accountable to uphold the people's representation, and that includes racial representation. The ending of Affirmative Action is not, nor has the controversy ever been, a matter of representation, nor is it a matter of equity, but rather a genuine effort of erasure of progress, of voice, and of people. The ending of Affirmative Action is a dismissal of very real history.
Ending Affirmative Action will not erase the United States' act of redlining, the effects we still see in schools today in 2023. This is a truth and fact that we need to face, as a country, collectively, as these government policies in place contributed to unequal resources, segregation by economic status and housing accessibility, and in turn, impact access to college admissions. Outlawing Affirmative Action will not create equity, especially seeing that legacies are allowed to continue, which can very potentially be connected to racist practices generations back, this was never about equitable practices, but instead the deep roots of white supremacy entangled with our government structure, rearing from the soils of this country. This sets a precedent for corporations to now drag their heels, citing equity in practices, a belief in the false notion of meritocracy, often established by bias. The end of Affirmative Action is the end only for People of Color, and targeting specifically Black applicants; this is not the end of affirmative action for white applicants, however - the ending of it is under the guise of "unfair" practices against white admits.
Striking down Affirmative Action does not and will not create equitable or fair practices, but instead uncovers the deep roots of white supremacy entangled with our government structure from the soils of this country.
Therefore, we, at The Dignified Learning Project, will remain dedicated and committed to genuine progress forward for liberation of all, to a practice of transformation in our schools and education system, and will continue to vocalize against injustices, both individually and systemically. We disagree with this racist decision made on behalf of the people, yet not for the people, and will remain firm in our stance to support students, act collaboratively for a democratic society in and out of our education systems, and will not waver in our efforts to do so. We will continue to fight against acts like these done with the purpose of dehumanization.