July 5, 2023

Last week, the Supreme Court of the United States passed major decisions that will shape the daily lives of so many individuals. Many of these individuals might be invisible to some, but are the primary beneficiaries of our work as an operating foundation and whose futures are somehow shaped by the resources, opportunities and support we provide.

To summarize these decisions (and not meant to provide a comprehensive interpretation) the Supreme Court has decided to:

  1. Remove affirmative action as an admissions criteria policy for institutions of higher education, reversing an equity-promoting practice for the past 7 decades. This will impact not only the potential for many students of color to get into the IHE of their choice, but may even blur the decision process for many of these students to even pursue that potential;

2. Block the student loan forgiveness policy that the Biden administration has been promoting, a policy that – proven by academic research – could help level the playing field for many low-income students of color who need the economic boost to forge the pathways to career success and therefore narrow the wealth gap for the last 5 generations;

3. And vote in favor of the Colorado web designer to potentially refuse design services to same sex couples in light of the free speech amendment.

To read more about these decisions and more, please go to Opinions of the Court website.

I believe that the more limitations put on this nation’s pursuit of equity and fairness, the harder it will be for us to accomplish the mission of ensuring every student thrives. It will be more difficult for organizations such as ours and our community partners that work to eliminate inequality and discrimination to have collective impact, especially as economic and political forces make it necessary for us to have the fair means to fully participate in both the process and outcome of a prosperous society. 

I believe that these decisions are wrong and unfair and are partly politically driven. Be that as it may, it is the supreme court of the land. These decisions will just require us to work harder, smarter, and show up even more focused on why we exist and why we are needed: because even though talent is everywhere, opportunity is not. We all realize that the playing field for young people is unjustly uneven.

As we always have, we must roll up our sleeves and get to work, because the world, after last week, just got even tougher for millions of students of color and in our LGBTQ+ community.

Richard Tagle
President & CEO