FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE AUG 13, 2012
A National Coalition of Black Male Achievement Initiatives urges the Supreme Court to uphold the admissions procedures of the University of Texas at Austin (UT)
Click link to view: Amicus Brief
COLUMBUS, OH – Today a national Coalition of Black Male Achievement Initiatives (BMI) filed an amicus (“friend of the Court”) brief at the United States Supreme Court in Fisher v. University of Texas, a high profile college admissions case to be heard by the Court next term.
The BMI brief urges the Supreme Court to examine the low numbers of African American males currently enrolled at selective colleges and universities before deciding whether to prevent admissions officers from considering race along with other aspects of an applicant’s biography when putting together a diverse entering class. Studies of college diversity rarely uncouple information about a student’s race or ethnicity from his gender, the BMI brief notes. This obscures the fact that—even with the use of holistic race-conscious review—the numbers of African American males currently enrolled at selective universities are already distressingly low.
“As a percentage of the student bodies at selective flagship universities,” the brief states, a 2006 survey revealed, “the average black male enrollment rate at these institutions was a stunning 2.8%.”
The BMI brief urges the Supreme Court to uphold the admissions procedures of the University of Texas at Austin (UT), which permit admissions officials to consider race along with a number of other factors when putting together a diverse entering class. Abigail Fisher challenged the constitutionality of those procedures after being denied admission, claiming she was rejected due to her race (Fisher is white).The BMI brief was filed along with dozens of others, making the case one of the most heavily briefed cases in Supreme Court history.
The BMI brief notes that, in Fall 2009, “only 1.79% of UT’s full-time first-time undergraduates were Black males (129 Black male freshmen out of 7,199).” The elimination of race-conscious admissions procedures will make this crisis even worse, the BMIs argue.
Beyond UT’s interest in student body diversity, the brief also urges the Supreme Court to recognize that states have an interest in addressing the harmful effects of racial isolation and the severely disadvantaged social conditions that surround and negatively impact the lives of many of their African American residents. African Americans continue to be disproportionately isolated from educational, economic and social opportunity to a degree not experienced by any other racial or ethnic group, the BMI brief argues, and states have a compelling interest in reducing conditions that impair the equal opportunity for advancement of their residents. Failure to address such social conditions imperils the well being of all of a state’s residents, the BMIs assert.
“Decades of isolation in the nation’s most disadvantaged communities have fueled, grave White/Black health disparities, negative educational outcomes and enormous income and wealth gaps for African Americans,” said Shawn Mooring, Network Manager of the 2025 Network for Black Men and Boys, which led the effort to file the brief.
“These enduring patterns of social inequality will worsen if pathways to academic opportunity for Black youth are blocked,” the brief argues.
For more information, contact Shawn Mooring, Network Manager/Member of the 2025 Network for Black Men and Boys, at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit http://www.2025bmb.org/; Sharon Davies, Executive Director of the Kirwan Institute, at (614) 688-5429 or email@example.com and visit www.kirwaninstitute.osu.edu.
About the National 2025 Network for Black Men and Boys
The mission of the 2025 Network for Black Men and Boys is to collaboratively further the educational, social, emotional, physical, spiritual, political and economic development and empowerment of African descendant men and boys in the United States.
About the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race & Ethnicity
The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race & Ethnicity is an interdisciplinary, engaged-research center founded in 2003 at The Ohio State University. The Kirwan Institute works to create a just and inclusive society where all people and communities have the opportunity to succeed.