Statement: AUCC Executive Director Dr. Michael Hodge Speaks on SCOTUS Affirmative Action Measure
June 30, 2023
Thursday’s SCOTUS decision means universities can no longer consider race in addition to other factors when admitting students, ending 40-plus years of affirmative action policies intended to achieve greater racial diversity at top-tier colleges. AUCC Executive Director Dr. Micheal Hodge released the following statement:
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down affirmative action in college admissions is an unnecessary and mean-spirited blow to racial equity and diversity in higher education and the nation. It ignores the reality of systemic racism and discrimination endemic to the core of US institutions.
However, for historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), the circumstance of evil decision-making and actions—like so many times in our history—can provide opportunity to showcase our value and impact in higher education and society. HBCUs have been providing quality education and opportunity to students of color, especially Black students, for over a century, despite facing systemic racism and underfunding. HBCUs demonstrate value by producing some of the most influential leaders, scholars, professionals, and innovators in every sector of our society. HBCUs continue to advance the clarion call for social justice, civic engagement, and community development in our local and global communities.
As the Executive Director of the Atlanta University Center Consortium (AUCC), I am proud and honored to work with the leadership of four of the most prestigious and impactful higher education institutions in the country: Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Spelman College. The AUCC is the world’s oldest and largest consortium of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). For nearly a century, the AUCC has been committed to collaborating with these powerful institutions in providing quality education and opportunity to students from diverse backgrounds, especially those who have been historically marginalized and underrepresented in higher education. We are committed to advancing this legacy of excellence and service. Our commitment resonates in the breaking down of barriers to economic success and generating unparalleled upward mobility. Importantly, this commitment is also exhibited in our diverse and inclusive campus environment that welcomes students from different backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives. Contrary to the stereotype that HBCUs are monolithic or segregated, the institutions of the AUCC enroll students from various racial and ethnic groups, including white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, and international students. We enroll students from different socioeconomic statuses, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities, and abilities and foster a culture of respect, belonging, and empowerment for all students.
Our demonstrated positive outcomes are clear and convincing evidence that the AUCC schools as well as other HBCUs are not only relevant but essential in a post-affirmative action United States. The AUCC offers students a place where they can thrive academically, socially, and personally. We invite all students who are interested in pursuing higher education to consider applying to any of the AUCC institutions (or other HBCUs). We assure you that you will receive a high-quality education that will prepare you for your future endeavors and aspirations. We also assure you that you will receive a holistic experience in a safe and supportive environment that will enrich your personal growth and development.
We also call upon our supporters and allies to join us in this critical moment of action. We urge you to voice your support for the AUCC and other HBCUs. We urge you to advocate for policies and legislation that support HBCUs with adequate funding and resources. We urge you to donate directly to the AUCC and to causes that support with scholarships and programs. We urge you to celebrate and promote the achievements and contributions of HBCUs to higher education and society.
HBCUs are not only a part of our history but also a part of our future. We believe that HBCUs are not only beneficial for students of color but also for all students and society at large. The decision from the Supreme Court serves to exclaim that HBCUs are not only a choice but a necessity for higher education in the United States of America.