Students Unify Across Country in Support of Affirmative Action

Oct. 18, 2006

Students in 55 cities across the country participated in today's 6th Annual National Take Affirmative Action Day (NTAAD) activities, sponsored by the Student of Color Campus Diversity Project of the United States Student Association Foundation, Americans for a Fair Chance/Student Activist Network and the NAACP Youth & College Division. The national organizations joined to demand "Access Through Action," urging college administrators and public officials take affirmative action to recruit, admit, and retain students of color, women and other underrepresented communities to institutions of higher education.

"The need to save and strengthen Affirmative Action policies is not a fact-less theory," said Stefanie Brown, National Director of the NAACP Youth & College Division. "Affirmative Action is essential today to secure equal opportunities for people of color and women ? as evident by the horrendous reduction in student of color enrollment in California's higher education institutions. As young people, Affirmative Action is our issue and this is our time to act."

Although the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the use of race in admissions in 2003 at the University of Michigan Law School, in Grutter v. Bollinger, Affirmative Action policies and programs are still under attack by opponents. Today, students and community members voiced their demands through tactics that will strengthen and build student coalitions that support the recruitment and retention of underserved communities in higher education, start or strengthen existing campaigns, and educate the campus community about Affirmative Action and recruitment and retention programs.

NTAAD 2006 activities were held at universities in Michigan, Indiana, Connecticut, Oregon, Ohio, California, Louisiana and Texas.

The United States Student Association Foundation is the education and research arm of the United States Student Association (USSA), the country's oldest and largest national student organization, representing millions of students. Founded in 1947, USSA is the recognized voice for students on Capitol Hill, in the White House, and the U.S. Department of Education. The Student of Color

Campus Diversity Project, begun in 1990, works with student of color activists and allies to break down barriers to education and win concrete victories on issues that effect communities of color in higher education. Learn more at: www.usstudents.org.

Americans for a Fair Chance (AFC) is a project dedicated to educating the public about the importance of affirmative action and other programs aimed at expanding equal opportunity and preventing discrimination. The Student Activist Network (SAN) showcases the critical work students are doing on campuses nationwide in support of affirmative action and other civil rights issues. AFC and SAN are projects of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund. Go to www.fairchance.org or www.studentactivistnetwork.org to find out more.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. The NAACP Youth & College Division, established in 1936, is one of the largest organized groups of young people of any secular organization in the country. Its objectives are to inspire, motivate, and create interest in civic rights activities; and provide young people with an understanding of pertinent issues. Find out more by going to: www.naacp.org.

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