The Graustein Memorial Fund’s Statement on the Supreme Court’s Decision on Affirmative Action

The Supreme Court ruling finding race-conscious admissions to higher learning unconstitutional is a devastating blow on our nation’s ability to achieve equity in education. 

The path to higher education is paved by many resources inequitably distributed, or entirely out of reach, for an overwhelming number of Black and Brown youth due to centuries of systemic and structural racism. Without admissions policies to mitigate some of this structured inequity, higher education becomes even more unattainable to hundreds of thousands of qualified students. 

Beyond impact at the individual level, lack of diversity robs all students of the chance to grow and learn in diverse classrooms and will have grievous ripple effects on the employment talent pool, representation in post-graduation institutions, opportunities to build generational wealth, and so much more. 

The Graustein Memorial Fund remains deeply committed to a vision of educational systems throughout Connecticut that are just, and that respect, value, and equip everyone to build thriving, liberated, and equitable communities. We are committed to working with those most impacted by the dual forces of racism and poverty to build community power, disrupt inequitable systems, and transform institutions.

To close the gap between this vision and today’s reality, we support groups working to empower underserved and under-resourced Black and Brown communities to create lasting, systemic change. Concretely, this change looks like paving a more stable, equitable, and enriched path for youth of color, and the families and educators who guide them – including adequate early child care and education, housing security, legal representation, legislative and policy work, equitable school funding, representative curricula, and increased representation in educational staff. 

Philanthropy at large has a responsibility to increase support for these communities. This includes supporting institutions which, in using affirmative action, were attempting to right the wrongs of multigenerational white supremacy and white privilege. 

While we are grieved at the loss of such a vital tool in this ongoing fight, we stand in solidarity with groups throughout the state in redoubling our combined efforts for justice – so that regardless of the circumstances of their birth, each child is equipped to achieve their highest calling in life.