SANTA CRUZ, CA — The Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) is in disagreement with the Supreme Court’s decision to disregard decades of legal precedent, their dismissal of the influence of race and ethnicity on educational opportunity in the U.S., and their ban on the use of race-conscious admissions to achieve diverse student bodies for the benefit of our country and society. The Supreme Court’s decision will negatively impact efforts to diversify the STEM workforce and disproportionately affect those represented in SACNAS' 9,000+ membership.
Achieving diversity in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) is a national imperative and of a compelling public interest. STEM diversity serves as a catalyst for innovation, often leading to advancements and breakthroughs that boost the country’s economic growth. Furthermore, diverse learning environments foster critical thinking skills, reduce bias, promote empathy, and prepare students to succeed in an increasingly diverse and interconnected world. Publicly funded research also has an ethical imperative to represent the needs and perspectives of all U.S. citizens so that all can benefit from scientific advancements.
An essential step toward full representation in the U.S. scientific enterprise is parity in post-secondary STEM education. However, in 2020 only 26% of bachelor’s, 24% of master’s, and 16% of doctoral degrees in STEM fields were conferred to individuals who identified as Hispanic/Latinx, Black/African American, American Indian, or Alaska Native1, despite these groups collectively comprising more than one-third of the U.S. population.
SACNAS is a 50-year-old organization that was founded in response to structural inequality, discrimination, and racism in STEM. Progress has been made since 1973, but there is still work to be done. Today’s decisions (Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College, and Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. University of North Carolina) will severely and negatively impact that ongoing work as well as the communities SACNAS serves.
While interest, talent, and potential are equally distributed, access and opportunity are not, and race-conscious holistic admissions were one of the effective tools for correcting this disparity. SACNAS commits to tracking the impacts of today’s decisions on our communities and will use and advocate for a suite of approaches to serve Chicanos/Hispanics, Native Americans, Indigenous students and scientists, and all groups that experience systemic racism and discrimination in STEM. Importantly, SACNAS will continue to partner with organizations and institutions in their outreach, recruitment, and networking efforts with groups historically excluded from STEM careers.
Kelly Williamson, Sr. Manager of Marketing and Communication, firstname.lastname@example.org
For 50 years, SACNAS has served as an inclusive organization dedicated to fostering the success of Chicano/Hispanics & Native Americans, from college students to professionals, in attaining advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership within STEM.
Today, the organization serves a growing community of over 20,000 supporters, 9,000+ members, and 140+ student and professional chapters throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. SACNAS influences the STEM diversity movement through STEM outreach & advocacy, the promotion of STEM leaders, and The SACNAS National Diversity in STEM Conference. Learn more about SACNAS via LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.