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Study Finds Affirmative Action Ban Hindered Equity Efforts in Community Colleges

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The California Community College system educates over 2 million students who carry a wide range of backgrounds, identities, and lived experiences.

A new publication from our Research in Brief series highlights the detrimental effects that California’s twenty-five year ban on affirmative action (Prop 209) has had within the community college system. The research found that Prop 209:

  1. Diluted the racial focus of the Student Equity Policy.
  2. Hindered efforts seeking to remedy inequities based on race in community college.
  3. Ended race-conscious and culturally relevant programs seeking to improve rates of transfer and completion in community colleges as they could be seen as “not appropriate under the law.”

This November, California has a historic opportunity to advance racial equity across our education systems and educator workforce by voting YES on Prop 16. At the community college level, Prop 16 will restore the ability for California Community Colleges to use race- and gender-conscious strategies such as targeted recruitment and retention efforts to build upon and improve campus diversity to ensure equal opportunity for all.

The publication identifies ways to take action between now and Election Day on November 3:

  • Institutional leaders can renew their commitment to race-conscious policies
  • Community members can expand their awareness of structural racism and how  Proposition 16 will create opportunities for California communities.
  • Equity advocates can join Yes on Proposition 16 Campaign.
  • Policymakers must recognize the need for race-conscious policies to address long-standing inequity.
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Prioritizing Racial Equity
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