Today’s decision is a stark reminder of the challenges communities of color face and highlights the need for continued advocacy to ensure educational opportunity and racial equity. Since its inception, affirmative action has empowered students of color to speak up and share their stories as they seek a brighter future through education and career opportunities. This, in turn, helps build inclusive and thriving communities of students and workers. Asian Americans have benefited from and supported affirmative action policies; despite the outcome of today’s ruling, APALA remains committed to supporting affirmative action as a tool in advancing APALA’s mission, which is rooted in Black liberation, Indigenous sovereignty, and solidarity with all struggles for collective liberation. All of our struggles are connected and we cannot win one without another.
Jessica Tang, APALA National Treasurer and President of the Boston Teachers Union said: "Affirmative action is critical to ensuring equal access and economic empowerment of AAPI communities and all marginalized communities. The Supreme Court decision to tear down this cornerstone of racial justice is a shameful assault on our students, future workers and their social mobility. On a personal note, as an Asian American alumna of Harvard University as well as an educator, I stand firmly in support of affirmative action. We will continue to fight alongside our Black, brown and indigenous siblings to tear down racist and oppressive barriers, but, today, we are deeply disheartened by the harmful and completely misguided decision that undermines our movement for justice and equity."
Lindsay Peifer, APALA National Executive Board member and Senior Policy Analyst for AAPI Outreach and Engagement at the National Education Association (NEA) said: “Affirmative action has created opportunities for millions of students of color, including AAPI students. The false narrative of ‘harm’ against Asian Americans belies the reality that low-income AAPIs have benefited from Affirmative Action. This false narrative plays on the model minority myth that is designed to pit communities of color against each other, whereas according to AAPI Data, 69% of Asian American registered voters favor affirmative action programs. Today’s decision is a result of conservative, well-funded attacks to strategically exploit Chinese Americans and turn them against other communities of color. As NEA President Becky Pringle has stated when reflecting on this recent decision, ‘We are stronger when our country, communities, schools, and future includes and reflects all of us.’”
Tracy Lai, APALA National Executive Board member and Vice President for Human Rights for AFT Washington: “As an AAPI worker in higher education, I am deeply shaken by this decision to overturn decades of progress made for students of color. The Supreme Court has chosen to tear down the diversity that enriches our campuses and is critical for building the next generation’s leaders. APALA calls on all institutions of higher education to commit to racial justice and inclusion by strengthening recruitment and support of marginalized students. A comprehensive list of recommendations by Chinese for Affirmative Action can be found here.”