Supreme Court Rulings
Dear Napa Valley College Community,
Over the past two days, the Supreme Court of the United States issued several rulings that will adversely affect people from historically marginalized and low-income communities. Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina’s use of affirmative action in their admissions policies. Today, the Supreme Court also ruled against President Biden’s student loan relief plan and ruled in favor of a web designer who opposes same-sex marriage on religious grounds, upholding her argument that she can refuse to provide services to members of the LGBTQIA+ community because she has a free speech right to refuse work that conflicts with her views.
These decisions compound the structural inequities that exist in our society, and reverse progress that has been made or attempted to make to offer redress and dismantle institutionalized racism, oppression and discrimination. The affirmative action decisions discount the long history of racial inequality that is embedded in this country’s educational structures leading to disparities in the educational resources offered to students from racial and ethnic minoritized communities which adversely impacts their ability to gain access to institutions of higher education. The decision on student loan relief restricts the government from offering debt relief to students, a significant number of whom are from families that don’t have the economic resources to pay for higher education and have, therefore, needed to take student loans to fund their education. The decision in favor of the web designer limits protections for the LGBTQIA+ community, allowing businesses to discriminate against customers based on their sexual and gender identities.
At Napa Valley College, we understand that these decisions will affect many in our community who have felt increasingly under siege, have seen legal protections overturned that were intended to address historical wrongs, and who continue to experience discrimination and hardship due to structural inequality. Napa Valley College remains committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, access, anti-racism, and social justice in everything that we do…in our supports for students, in our classroom and campus environments, and in our commitment to provide equitable working environments for our employees. We remain dedicated to providing access to the wider community to our classes and services regardless of their background, identity, status, or socio-economic position.
There are resources to assist you through these challenging times:
Below are links to the Supreme Court’s rulings and responses from California education leaders and organizations who have taken a leadership role in advocating for social justice.
You may access the full text opinions of the Supreme Court of the United States at the following link: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/slipopinion/22
In community and care,
Dr. Patricia van Leeuwaarde Moonsammy Senior Director, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
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