The US Supreme Court issued a decision that prohibits a critical tool that colleges and universities use to make higher education more accessible to many students of color. This decision upends 45 years of precedent by stricking down the use of affirmative action in admissions at Harvard and UNC.

To every student hearing the decision today, know this: you still matter and we will keep showing up for you. We need your gifts and talents. We need your leadership. Do not allow them to tell you that you don’t belong. We are with you, and we will fight together. You belong and we all belong.

LeadMN President John Runninggen issued the following statement:

Today’s US Supreme Court decision highlights the need to address the inequities that plague our higher education system. There are elite colleges and universities that are well funded to provide an education to wealthy students and then there are institutions that struggle to provide a quality education to average Minnesotans. 

The Supreme Court decision will reverse progress on educational opportunity and socioeconomic mobility for many students across Minnesota. We must renew our efforts to tear down barriers that far too many students face as they pursue the education they need to compete in today’s economy.  

Minnesota legislators and the governor should build on the progress they made this session by making a stronger investment in the state’s community and technical colleges so that we don’t have a two-tiered higher education system. Our community and technical colleges serve the majority of students of color in Minnesota yet receive fewer dollars per student in state support. A quality education should be available to all Minnesota students from kindergarten to college.