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'It's going to hurt our community' | Local education groups react to Supreme Court's ruling on affirmative action

"We actually think it's going to hurt our community," said Dr. Ana Acevedo, executive director of SAEP.

SAN ANTONIO — President Joe Biden strongly disagreed with the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday after justices struck down affirmative action in college admissions.

Writing for the court's majority, Chief Justice John Roberts said that Harvard and the University of North Carolina's race-conscious admissions programs violate the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. Lawsuits against the schools alleged the policies discriminated against White and Asian American applicants.

In her dissent, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the court's first Black female justice, called the decision "a tragedy for all of us".

The Supreme Court upheld using race as a factor in college admissions programs as recently as 2016, but that was before the court's make-up moved sharply to the right.

After Thursday's ruling, we reached out to local education groups.

Jason Mims is the president and founder of MIMS Institute Fellows Inc. The goal of the organization is to motivate individual minority students to prepare for and apply to America's top national universities such as Yale, Princeton and Harvard. 

Mims said he can see how some people may see Thursday's ruling as a barrier, but he can also see it was a turning point for diversifying student bodies. 

"I see it as turning the use of lemons and turn it into lemonade, because now more people are going to be talking about America's best colleges and students of color enabled access to those opportunities," said Mims.

Café College, a City program managed by the San Antonio Education Partnership, also weighed in on the ruling.

"We actually think it's going to hurt our community," said Dr. Ana Acevedo, executive director of SAEP.

Dr. Acevedo felt affirmative action policies had better outcomes in terms of diversifying the student body and increasing college attainment.

"We are now worried to see how colleges are going to react and find other ways to consider race and ethnicity in their admissions processes to ensure, first of all, that they have diversity in their student population, but also especially in communities that are now majority minority, that we continue to have pathways and access for our community members to actually enroll in college and succeed in college," she said.

She is optimistic college administrators will consider options to diversify student populations but how remains to be seen. Acevedo said SAEP's work will continue regardless of the decision.

"If anything, we will even work harder to make sure that our population that we serve the community here in San Antonio understands best their pathway to getting into college," said Dr. Acevedo.

According to Texas Public Radio, the decision will largely impact the University of Texas at Austin, which was the only public university that considered race in undergraduate admissions, and multiple private universities in Texas.

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