AALDEF and its co-amici, including GAPIMNY, are committed to the fight for freedom, justice, and equality for all. As part of their commitment to equality, AALDEF and its co-amici support the use of race-conscious admissions programs that are narrowly tailored with individualized consideration.
Amici believe that such programs strongly benefit the Asian American community. The inequities faced by Asian students who are members of certain Asian subgroups are frequently hidden by the aggregation of data into a single, monolithic “Asian” category. Students from these subgroups have faced pervasive social and economic disadvantages, low educational attainment, and even racial intimidation and harassment.
The Harvard lawsuit led by SFFA (Plaintiff) ignores the diversity within the Asian American community as well as the many benefits of diversity that accrue to Asian Americans. Although SFFA alleges that there has been negative action against Asian Americans in Harvard’s admissions process, AALDEF has not identified any record evidence showing intentional discrimination against Asian Americans. Moreover, rather than vindicating the rights of Asian Americans, SFFA’s apparent true aim is to dismantle race-conscious admissions altogether. AALDEF believes that the Plaintiff’s broad-based attack will harm all minorities, including Asian Americans and especially those Asian American applicants in communities struggling with low educational attainment and low socioeconomic status.
AALDEF and its co-Amici are well aware and disturbed by the history of discriminatory admission policies, particularly at elite private universities, affecting Jews, African Americans, Asian Americans, women, and others. Amici would never knowingly support exclusionary admissions policies against minority applicants, including Asian Americans. We would vigorously oppose any cap, quota, bias, or other kind of negative action, formal or informal, affecting Asian Americans or any other group. For this reason, Amici urge Harvard to take immediate steps to lessen even the possibility that any of its admissions decisions, including the personal category rating, are affected by implicit biases of persons at Harvard or other outside influencers (such as teachers, coaches, counselors, or alumni interviewers). This record does not, however, support such an undisputed finding. Nor does room for further consideration or refinement of Harvard’s admissions policy mean it is legally infirm. SFFA has wholly failed to meet its burden and is not entitled to summary judgment.
*Excerpted and lightly edited from the Amicus Brief, filed August 30, 2018. Read the full brief here: https://admissionscase.harvard.edu/files/adm-case/files/aaldef_amicus_brief_iso_harvard.pdf