Thursday, June 29, 2023

Community College League of California Denounces Supreme Court Ruling

This morning’s announcement by the United States Supreme Court regarding affirmative action is disappointing and troubling. Our students deserve better. Our future as equitable, just, and promising communities deserves better.

Under the decision to overturn long-standing affirmative action practices, colleges and universities can no longer consider race as a specific factor for granting admission. The Court’s ruling ignores important legal precedent and fails to recognize the historical reality of centuries of discrimination and unequal opportunity for minoritized populations.  

Nationwide, we, as higher education leaders and supporters, have work to do. We have the responsibility to educate our elected and appointed officials about students’ lived experiences and how those truly affect equity and, more importantly, people and communities. Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson noted that “deeming race irrelevant in law does not make it so in life.” This country needs educated, critical thinkers to solve real-world issues with agility and diverse perspectives. For that to occur, we need equitable representation in colleges and universities.

California’s Community Colleges should be proud of the specific efforts our CEOs, Trustees, committed professionals, and community members take to ensure access, affordability, and success. But our support of students goes beyond process and policy to provide equity. At every single one of our colleges, in districts, and in League-affiliated affinity groups such as caucuses, Equity Avengers, and the Affordability, Food, and Housing Access Taskforce, hundreds of committed individuals find ways to assure access for our marginalized students. These efforts come from justice, morality, and a deep-seated commitment to our students.

California Community College leaders, our voice and action are needed now more than ever. Narrow access to higher education can only foster narrow thinking. Our colleges and communities are more vital when they are diverse, and we must work to reform systems and policies that reduce anyone’s chances for a better future.

Accessibility and equity have been focus points for the League, our boards, and many of those we collaborate with, and it will continue to be at the forefront of our decision making and the work that we do.


Larry A. Galizio, Ph.D.
President & CEO
Community College League of California