Friday, October 7th at 6PM, Campbell Hall room 1112 UCLA Campus
During the next few months UCLA students, faculty and staff will have a rare opportunity to shape the future of this campus, state and nation.
Two legal cases, both brought by the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration and Immigrant Rights & Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), challenging the constitutionality of California’s state constitutional ban on affirmative action, Prop 209, and Michigan’s identical state constitutional ban, Prop 2, are making their way through the courts.
The stunning victory of the Michigan case at the Sixth Circuit has at once placed the questions of affirmative action, equality and how race structures access and opportunity in this society on the American political agenda and opened the way for the biggest civil rights victory of this century.
Since the passage of Prop 209 in 1996, the numbers of black, Latina/o, Native American and other underrepresented minority students attending UC’s flagship universities have declined precipitously. Of the 3,960 freshmen entering UC Berkeley this fall only 139 are black students; at UCLA there are 4,921 incoming freshmen of which 209 are black students.
Last year in 2010 there were less than 20 black students combined in total in all the MBA programs in the UC system. At UCLA in 2006 there were 95 black students. The university adopted a system of holistic review and that has resulted in a small but important increase in underrepresented minority student enrollment. Even this important but inadequate gain will be eviscerated unless we win these cases around affirmative action.
The loss of affirmative action combined with the rising cost of tuition is having a devastating impact on Latina/o and black students ability to maintain their seats at the flagship UC’s. At UC Berkeley this led to an 11% drop in Latina/o student enrollment. To win these cases we are going to need to strengthen the movement to defend affirmative action. Building the movement is exactly what is needed to place students in a strong enough position to defend public education.
We have an opportunity to win the fight to overturn these anti-affirmative action ballot initiatives and increase underrepresented minority student enrollment. To persuade the courts to rule in our favor, we need a broad, united public campaign in support of our legal challenges. We are calling on students at UCLA to become part of this campaign on our campus and across the state to overturn Prop 209 and regain affirmative action.
BAMN has been the only and most successful organization consistently defending affirmative action and integration.
Come to a BAMN open house on Friday October 7th 6PM in Campbell Hall room 1112 to have discussion on what strategy and tactics it will take to win, learn more about why affirmative action programs, policies that take conscious, postitive action are needed to overcome the inequalities created by institutional racism, learn how to make the arguments for affirmative action, and how you can participate in this fight.
Stay updated on BAMN’s work on Affirmative Action: