OPINION – The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld voter-passed bans on racial preferences in public-college admissions in a case involving a challenge to Michigan’s 2006 adoption of such a measure. A majority of the justices not only overturned a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which had struck down Michigan’s measure, but also made clear that they would reject any similarly argued challenge to the bans on race-conscious admissions adopted by voters in Arizona, California, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Washington.

The Supreme Court decision will continue constraints placed on public colleges and universities in meeting their responsibility for serving the state’s policy priorities. California and other states seek to embrace diversity by providing high quality education to all state residents to enable them to contribute to sustaining and strengthening the state economy as well as engage in respectful civic interaction with people from diverse geographic and cultural backgrounds.

Molly Corbett Broad, president of the American Council on Education, issued a statement declaring her group’s disappointment with the Supreme Court’s ruling. She said: “All colleges and universities, in Michigan and every other state, should be able to seek to create the most challenging possible academic environment and produce students fully prepared to function in today’s society—and a diverse student body is critical to that pursuit.”

The HAWK Institute takes an additional step beyond Ms. Broad’s statement and advocates that public colleges and universities produce graduates fully prepared to function effectively in today’s society and able to contribute to the economic health of the state. A diverse student body provides a more enriched academic environment for students rather than a challenging one. Interacting with students from diverse cultural and geographic backgrounds exposes students to multiple experiences and approaches to problem solving and planning at local, national and global levels. The HAWK Leadership academy helps young men embrace their cultural background and legacy and develop the knowledge, courage, and communication skills to effectively work with others from different cultural backgrounds.

The mission of the HAWK Institute is to train a cadre of courageous leaders committed to their own personal success, and overcoming the barriers of inequality which have contributed to the systematic under-education of young Black men.