NAACP to Universities: Sign ‘Diversity No Matter What’ Pledge After ‘Extreme’ Affirmative Action Decisions
To correct ‘the nation’s original sin,’ signatories pledge to abandon ‘racially biased entrance examinations’ and ‘legacy admissions’ while partnering with institutions ‘that have deeply rooted race-conscious missions.’
The NAACP has urged “more than 1,600 U.S. public and private colleges and universities with selective admissions” to sign its “Diversity No Matter What” pledge after the Supreme Court issued “extreme decisions reversing decades of precedent on affirmative action. Legal Insurrection has extensively covered the decisions referenced by the NAACP.
A press release from the group framed the pledge as “an effort to ensure that higher education institutions foster environments mirroring the nation’s diversity and increase the representation of historically underrepresented students.”
“Let’s be clear – Black America is in a fight for our lives,” stated NAACP President & CEO Derrick Johnson. “The NAACP has been at the forefront of this battle for more than a century and we’re not backing down.”
Signatories pledge to take “various steps . . . to create and sustain a culture of inclusion, belonging, and respect for the benefit of all students — and therefore our society”:
- Eliminating racially biased entrance examinations and adopting a holistic approach that considers every aspect of an applicant’s background, achievements, and potential.
- Supporting the matriculation and retention of low-income and first-generation students through outreach programs, scholarships, mentoring, and academic support services.
- Recruiting diverse faculty and staff who can serve as role models and mentors for our students while contributing to our curriculum and research.
- Creating a welcoming, and supportive campus climate that values diversity, stands for equity, and advances inclusion in all aspects of academic and social life.
- Striving towards greater inclusivity by ending the utilization of legacy admissions which give an advantage to children and family members of institutional alumni or donors.
- Partnering with and supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges, Hispanic Serving Institutions, Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions, and other Minority Serving Institutions that have deeply rooted race-conscious missions.
The NAACP believes “these strategies, and more, will not only benefit our students, but also enhance the quality and impact of our education, research, and service. As we envision the future of learning in this country and the global community, it is imperative that we are embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion – no matter what.”
“Protecting diversity within higher education . . . is about our ability to correct the nation’s original sin and level the playing field,” according to NAACP Director of Education Innovation and Research Dr. Ivory Toldson.
Accompanying the pledge is a “Diversity No Matter What” petition with identical goals for NAACP “members and leaders across the country to sign.” The petition criticizes the “Supreme Court’s decision to strike down affirmative action” as “a symptom of the personally held beliefs of the members of our highest court.”
“Quality, accessible education should not be manipulated or weaponized to further racist agendas,” the petition page states. “Our future depends on Black children having access to high-quality education, and for our community to have access to sound hiring opportunities. America can only thrive when Black America thrives, period.” (emphasis original)DONATE
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