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Op-Ed: Protecting Students’ Futures if Affirmative Action Ends

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In a recent op-ed published in Word in Black, PeerForward CEO Gary Z. Linnen shared his perspective on the upcoming Supreme Court affirmative action decision. In the article, Linnen takes a firm stance in favor of affirmative action’s protection nationwide: “Any deterrent to welcoming students from diverse backgrounds — be it related to income/wealth, race, gender, or disabilities — is an injustice to everyone in our nation.”

Broward College Peer Leaders pose in a group
PeerForward in College, Broward College

Linnen stresses that in light of pandemic-related setbacks to education equity, the country needs to be doing more, not less, to boost the rates of minority and first-generation college graduates. In considering a future without affirmative action, Linnen cites the 1995 ban on affirmative action in California as a cautionary tale: that year, “the enrollment rates of Black and Latinx students dropped by 50% at the system’s Berkeley and Los Angeles campuses.”

Regardless of the Supreme Court’s ruling later this year, PeerForward remains committed to the fight for education equity. “We won’t give up,” Linnen writes, “until all students have similar opportunities to dream, learn, achieve, innovate, and lead — free of barriers and with a sense of institutional support.”


Read the full piece on Word in Black, a news source “for, about, and by Black people.” The article is also published on The Atlanta Voice and The Seattle Medium.