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Opinion August 15, 2023

NAACP Commends Biden’s Guidance on Diversity in Higher Education

College Campus Building - Daylight

Last month, the NAACP called on colleges and universities to foster inclusive and respectful environments for all students by signing the Diversity No Matter What pledge. Therefore, we applaud President Biden's Administration for issuing a Dear Colleague Letter and a Questions and Answers resource to help institutions of higher education preserve diversity and comply with the Supreme Court's decision in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College. These documents provide valuable guidance and support for institutions that are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, no matter what.

The NAACP has long advocated for policies and regulations to guarantee a first-rate education for all Black students. We believe that diversity is essential to the learning environment we want to create and the equitable society we aspire to build. That is why we launched the Diversity No Matter What Pledge, calling on more than 1,600 U.S. public and private colleges and universities with selective admissions processes to commit to using innovative strategies, consistent with the law and their missions, to increase the representation and success of historically underrepresented students.

The President's actions are in alignment with our pledge and our vision. They demonstrate a clear recognition of the value and importance of diversity in education, as well as the challenges and opportunities that institutions face in achieving it. They also affirm the federal government's role and responsibility in ensuring that all students have access to quality, accessible education that prepares them for the future.

We urge all colleges and universities to heed the President's guidance and join us in signing the Diversity No Matter What Pledge. Together, we can create and sustain a culture of inclusion, belonging, and respect for the benefit of all students — and therefore our society. Diversity is not only a moral imperative, but also a strategic advantage.

Let us embrace it, no matter what.

Ivory A. Toldson, Ph.D., Director, Education Innovation and Research

Derrick Lewis - Youth & College Hero

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