Jobs for the Future Urges Institutions to Advance Diversity After SCOTUS Affirmative Action Ruling

Published jun. 30, 2023

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling banning race-conscious affirmative action in college admissions—reversing more than 40 years of precedent—is an unfortunate reminder of the systemic barriers many still face in accessing higher education.

Affirmative action has never been a complete solution for these structural challenges. Yet it played a critical part in helping millions of people of color realize educational opportunities they would not have had otherwise due to inequitable access to resources, bias in admissions practices, and other systemic barriers. Affirmative action has also led to more diverse learning communities that enrich the education of all students.

In light of the decision by the Supreme Court, Jobs for the Future (JFF) urges institutions, policymakers, and other stakeholders to continue to advance diversity in higher education and not halt progress in addressing the challenges faced by millions of Americans—particularly people of color and other populations inadequately served by our current education systems—in accessing high-quality education pathways that lead to quality jobs. We must also not let this decision distract us from the fact that while most students do their postsecondary work at broad access and moderately selective institutions, including community colleges, they too still face many obstacles and inequitable practices that make it difficult for them to find quality programs, finance their education, and thrive in an educational setting.

JFF will double down on efforts to ensure Black and Latinx youth and young people experiencing poverty can access the knowledge, skills, academic and career support, and networks necessary to advance economically and not get shut out of opportunity, including building better, more equitable, and integrated college and career pathways and other student-centered reforms that substantially address persistent equity gaps.