Yesterday, the Supreme Court reversed a policy that, for nearly 50 years, has been used as a tool to expand opportunity for Black people, people of color, and other marginalized communities. Since 1961, the concept of Affirmative Action has helped to ensure that our communities receive equal opportunities after generations of near-total exclusion from businesses and universities.
We recognize this decision to limit race-conscious Affirmative Action in college admissions as the latest in ongoing and concerted efforts to reverse the decades of progress we have made in our collective march toward justice and dignity for all. This decision comes a year after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, and amidst continued attacks against voting rights and attempts to white wash education about the country’s racist history.
It is a reminder that the work of making racial and economic justice real still continues. For every step forward we make, we can anticipate attempts to erode our gains. We must not waver in the face of resistance and temporary defeats. Already, we see funders backing away from the necessary influx and commitments in funding that followed the racial justice reckoning of 2020. This SCOTUS decision could further erode that support; simply put, we can’t allow that. This decision is a call for us to double down–not back down.
We believe we can realize a multi-racial democracy and economy that makes dignity and opportunity possible for all our communities. But only if we truly and collectively commit to the work–now and for the long haul. We must continue to address structural racism and focus on changing systems. We must continue to invest deeply in community organizing, people of color-led movements, and building the power of the people. We must also commit to racial solidarity, recognizing that we are “caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny,” as Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said. We must support one another in our fight against white supremacy and anti-Blackness, which is at the root of the inequitable policies, systems and practices of oppression that impact all of us.
Together with our grantee partners and funder colleagues, Akonadi Foundation will continue doing all we can – through our grantmaking, our partnerships, and our voice – to win racial justice and to ensure a just and equitable future for all. Join us.
Ray Colmenar, President, Akonadi Foundation
Quinn Delaney, Founder and Board Chair, Akonadi Foundation