Monday, July 10, 2023

NAACP Launches ‘Diversity No Matter What’ Pledge for Colleges and Universities

The NAACP calls on more than 1,600 U.S. public and private colleges and universities with selective admissions processes to commit to the "Diversity No Matter What" pledge following the Supreme Court's extreme decisions reversing decades of precedent on affirmative action. The Pledge is an effort to ensure that higher education institutions foster environments mirroring the nation's diversity and increase the representation of historically underrepresented students.

"Let's be clear - Black America is in a fight for our lives. The NAACP has been at the forefront of this battle for more than a century and we're not backing down," said NAACP President & CEO Derrick Johnson."It is our hope that our nation's institutions will stand with us in embracing diversity, no matter what. Regardless, the NAACP will continue to advocate, litigate, and mobilize to ensure that every Black American has access to the resources and opportunities they need to thrive."

The NAACP has long advocated for policies and regulations at every level of government to guarantee a first-rate education for all Black students. The "Diversity No Matter What" pledge outlines various steps that schools can take to create and sustain a culture of inclusion, belonging, and respect for the benefit of all students — and therefore our society — such as: 

  • Eliminating racially biased entrance examinations and adopting a holistic approach that considers every aspect of an applicant's background, achievements, and potential.
  • Supporting the matriculation and retention of low-income and first-generation students through outreach programs, scholarships, mentoring, and academic support services.
  • Recruiting diverse faculty and staff who can serve as role models and mentors for our students while contributing to our curriculum and research.
  • Creating a welcoming, and supportive campus climate that values diversity, stands for equity, and advances inclusion in all aspects of academic and social life.
  • Striving towards greater inclusivity by ending the utilization of legacy admissions which give an advantage to children and family members of institutional alumni or donors.
  • Partnering with and supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges, Hispanic Serving Institutions, Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions, and other Minority Serving Institutions that have deeply rooted race-conscious missions.

"When a college or university commits to our 'Diversity No Matter What' pledge, that signifies a huge stride toward future insurance that every student, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, religion, or socioeconomic status, has an equal opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive at a higher education institution," said Dr. Ivory Toldson, NAACP Director of Education Innovation and Research. "Protecting diversity within higher education and beyond cannot be about a political party or affiliation. This is about our ability to correct the nation's original sin and level the playing field to maintain and expand our diverse learning environments to propel our society forward towards a brighter future."

The NAACP also launched a "Diversity No Matter What" petition for their members and leaders across the country to sign. You can read and sign the petition here

College and university administrators can sign the "Diversity No Matter What" pledge here

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