WASHINGTON — Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued a statement following reports that Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will rescind guidance from the Departments of Education and Justice that provides a roadmap to implement voluntary diversity and integration programs consistent with Supreme Court holdings on the issue:
“In furtherance of its agenda of intolerance and discrimination, the Trump administration is once again failing in its responsibility for the wellbeing of all students by tossing aside diversity and inclusion – core American values. The reported actions come as the Department of Justice appears ready to tee up a challenge to lawful race conscious admissions or affirmative action programs. Diverse campuses play an integral part in how our students collaborate and thrive. Although today’s action does not change any laws, it sends a clear signal that Attorney General Sessions and Secretary DeVos are advancing a vision of America that is particularly hostile to students of color, but that will impact all students.
“This first official action of Ken Marcus, the controversial Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, comes a day after the anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which advanced desegregation in our nation’s schools. We call on educators at every level to do what they know is best for their students and advance diversity and equal opportunity for all children. We will continue to fight for inclusive educational opportunities for all children and the diversity that is America’s strength.”
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.