Center Files Amicus Brief, Calls for Full Participation

On August 13, 2012, the Center filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, a case which asks the Court to revisit the use of race as a factor in university admissions decisions. The Center drafted the brief on behalf of higher education institutions and public sector organizations who are committed to racial diversity in higher education admissions for its role in building the public leadership and civic engagement necessary to revitalize metropolitan communities.

The brief argues that a diverse student body is key to higher education's ability to fulfill its public purpose to develop leaders who can effectively tackle tough public problems. The Center's mission is grounded in the value of full participation and is dedicated to helping its institutional partners create settings where all stakeholders can succeed and thrive.

The brief was joined by the National League of Cities; Campus Compact; Imagining America; the Anchor Institution Task Force; the Transformative Leadership Working Group, convened and funded by the Ford Foundation; Center for Democracy and Citizenship; Nancy Cantor, Chancellor of Syracuse University; Sharon Contreras, Superintendent of the Syracuse School District; Freeman Hrabowski, President of University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Scott Cowen, President of Tulane University; Nolan Rollins, President and CEO of the Urban League of New Orleans; James Dworkin, Chancellor of Purdue University North Central; Glade Montgomery, Superintendent of the LaPorte Community Schools in LaPorte, Indiana; Thomas Rochon, President of Ithaca College; Luvelle Brown, Superintendent of the Ithaca School District; James T. Harris, President of Widener University; and Cheryl Cunningham, Executive Director of the Chester Education Foundation. For a full copy of the brief, please click here.

The Center also played a lead role in drafting an amicus brief in the Fisher case on behalf of 37 highly selective Liberal Arts Colleges. The Liberal Arts brief emphasizes the essential role of diversity and students' encounters with difference in realizing the educational benefits of higher education. The brief explains why Liberal arts colleges cannot achieve racial diversity except by considering race explicitly. In particular, the brief elucidates why the race neutral plan employed by the University of Texas, by which it admits the top 10% of high school students, would not yield racial diversity at Liberal Arts colleges. Click here for a full copy of the brief.