Press Release

Dr. Elisha Smith Arrillaga, Executive Director of The Education Trust–West issued the following statement in response to the California State  Assembly vote to pass ACA 5:

In recent days, leaders and lawmakers around the country have expressed solidarity in the fight against racism. With today’s historic vote to pass ACA 5, California’s Assembly members proved they are willing to back their words up with action. 

Amid the pain and anguish of the past two weeks, I have drawn tremendous hope and inspiration from the young people of color who are leading a long-overdue national reckoning with the consequences of systemic racism in America. We owe it to those young leaders to respond with concrete, long-term policy solutions.

In California, structural barriers to equitable opportunity for Black and Latinx students begin before they ever set foot in a classroom and follow them through college and into the workplace. For nearly 25 years, our state’s misguided ban on equitable opportunity programs like affirmative action has intentionally blinded our laws and institutions to those barriers. We cannot solve problems we choose not to see. Today we are one step closer to removing the blindfold to start chipping away at systemic racism, and setting California on a path toward opportunity for all.  

The Education Trust-West is more committed than ever to make sure ACA 5 passes the Senate.  We expect our lawmakers to put power behind their commitment to dismantling structural racism by joining over two hundred civil rights, education equity, labor, business and community organizations across California in strong support of ACA 5.