Thursday, June 29, 2023

Affirmative Action

Of course, students on my campus and countless others across the country were -- and continue to be -- granted special consideration for admissions.  Some have parents who graduated from the same school.  Others have families who can afford coaches to help them run faster or hit a ball harder.  Others go to high schools with lavish resources for tutors and extensive standardized test prep that help them score higher on college entrance exams.  We don't usually question if those students belong.  So often, we just accept that money, power, and privilege are perfectly justifiable forms of affirmative action, while kids growing up like I did are expected to compete when the ground is anything but level.

And while I know the strength and grit that lies inside kids who have always had to sweat a little more to climb the same ladders, I hope and I pray that the rest of us are willing to sweat a little, too.  Today is a reminder that we've got to do the work not just to enact policies that reflect our values of equity and fairness, but to truly make those values real in all of our schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods.

-- Statement by former First Lady Michelle Obama in response to the Supreme Court decision against affirmative action in college admissions, 29 June 2023

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