June 30, 2023
The Supreme Court of the United States announced yesterday its alarming opinion on the constitutionality of considering race as a factor in the college admission process. Based on two specific cases, the ruling requires the nation’s colleges and universities to use colorblind criteria in admissions, reversing the decades-long precedent that upheld race-conscious admission. In doing so, the decision threatens the significant progress made in this country in providing more inclusive and equitable pathways for students of all backgrounds to attain a college education.
While race is not considered explicitly in MICA’s admissions process, the College believes foundationally in the importance of diversity as an essential and irreplaceable element of educational excellence and is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion as a central tenet of our mission and vision. Today’s ruling will not change that.
Moreover, MICA recognizes the criticality of access and affordability — providing accessible educational pathways to historically underserved populations and students of diverse backgrounds. This recognition and commitment is evident in the College’s Strategic Plan 2022-2027 for which DEIG (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Globalization) is a differentiator for MICA, as well as programs like the Leslie King Hammond Graduate Fellowship and ADCAP (Art and Design College Accelerator Program).
For those not yet familiar with ADCAP, it is a MICA-built, three-year college pathway program for gifted yet underserved Baltimore City public school students to gain access to quality art and design education at MICA. Since its inception in 2017, the program has served over 80 students from families with average household incomes of under $40,000 per year, with a vast majority from diverse backgrounds.
We will not know the effect that today’s Supreme Court ruling will have on society at large for years to come. As MICA moves into its third century of teaching and learning, we will work to ensure this decision does not inhibit our DEIG progress and will continue to champion the ability for all learners — of all backgrounds and experiences — to pursue an education at this Institution.