(June 29, 2023) -- Today the Supreme Court’s conservative majority struck down affirmative action in college admissions with a decision that creates barriers to equity in education and, as Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in dissent, “rolls back decades of precedent and momentous progress.” The decision overturns more than 40 years of legal precedent and reinforces the likelihood that higher education will be a luxury – only available to a small, already-privileged group of people.
As a foundation committed to protecting and advancing people’s health, we know that wellness requires racial justice. That is why we have been a longstanding champion and significant investor in a diverse health workforce that reflects California. A diverse workforce both improves access for all to quality affordable healthcare and strengthens access to quality jobs for communities that have historically been denied such opportunities.
We expect this decision to have a ripple effect that will reduce the diversity of student bodies, and the cultural competency of workforces requiring college degrees. There will be fewer doctors overall, which will make it more difficult to get appointments and treatment, and patients of varied cultural backgrounds and languages will find it harder to get doctors and nurses who share and understand their culture and language. Diverse workforces are innovative, competitive workforces*, and today the Supreme Court decided to firmly stand in the way of US businesses seeking to remain innovative and withstand the challenges of economic downturns.
Given the essential role of schools, colleges, and universities in launching and nurturing opportunities for diverse students, Cal Wellness stands in solidarity with educators, students, providers, advocates, and many others who are fighting for, and working toward, racial equity in our education system.