FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 29, 2023
Media contact: Rachel Koelzer (email@example.com / 213-703-0992)
Please attribute the following statement to NAKASEC’s Policy Manager, Michelle Liang.
NAKASEC Network Decries SCOTUS’ Decision on Race-Conscious Admissions
Washington, D.C. – Today, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled on two cases, Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) v. President and Fellows of Harvard College, and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina. In both cases, the Supreme Court ruled that affirmative action is unconstitutional.
Founded in 1994, the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC), and its affiliates Hamkae Center, HANA Center, MinKwon Center for Community Action, Woori Center, and Woori Juntos serve low-income Korean and Asian Americans and immigrants across the United States.
We condemn the Supreme Court decision as wrong and alarmingly destabilizing to democracy.
Centuries of systemic and structural inequity have resulted in significant disparities in access to quality education and opportunities. These inequities are rooted in race and more specifically, white supremacy and anti-Blackness. Affirmative action and race-conscious admissions acknowledge these truths and seek to rectify them by considering race as one factor among many in the admissions process. By taking into account an applicant’s race or ethnicity, institutions are better equipped to avoid perpetuating these inequalities and actively work towards a more equitable society. Conversely, by disregarding race and ethnicity, institutions are unable to see or recognize disparities and areas needing attention and support.
Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) and its founder Edward Blum are not interested in ensuring that universities adequately address any implicit biases against Asian Americans in their admissions practices, nor are they asking them to take other steps to recognize the value of the wide diversity of Asian American applicants. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders do not experience racial injustice the same, and SFFA and Edward Blum certainly do not care that Pacific Islander, Native Hawaiian, and Southeast Asian students and youth are systematically denied a high-quality education. In short, Blum is cynically using some Asian Americans to fulfill his interests in attacking civil rights. We reject Blum and SFFA’s claims as they do not represent Asian American students or communities and pit communities of color against one another.
The insistence to advance “color-blindness” in a society founded upon white supremacy, anti-Blackness, and racial capitalism, shows blatant indifference to the experiences of marginalized communities and extreme disregard for the well-being of broader society. Affirmative action does not just improve the living conditions for marginalized communities – it helps everyone. A diverse and inclusive learning environment benefits all students, institutions, and societies. A diverse student body encompasses a wide range of perspectives, experiences, and cultures, thereby enhancing critical thinking and creativity. Students are better able to learn the skills needed to thrive in a multicultural, global society. NAKASEC is extremely disappointed in today’s rulings. We are determined to continue to organize Asian Americans and immigrants toward racial justice and solidarity with other marginalized communities.
Hamkae Center is a community-based organization with a mission to organize Asian Americans in Virginia to achieve social, economic, and racial justice. Alongside its community members, Hamkae Center works to build a future in which low- and middle-income, immigrant, people of color, and all marginalized communities can fully participate in U.S. society and work together as makers of lasting change.
We are the Virginia affiliate of the NAKASEC Network. Other members include HANA Center (Illinois), Woori Center (Pennsylvania), MinKwon Center for Community Action (New York), and Woori Juntos (Texas).