The University of California has voted to restore currently outlawed affirmative action programs in order to promote campus diversity.
The UC Board of Regents voted in favor of race and gender-based evaluation policies unanimously on Monday amid a national conversation about perceived racial inequality.
“There is amazing momentum for righting the wrongs caused by centuries of systemic racism in our country. The UC Board of Regents’ votes to endorse ACA 5 and to repeal Proposition 209 plays a part in that effort,” Board Chair John A. Pérez said in a news release on the university’s website.
Proposition 209 further prohibited the state from discriminating against or giving preference to individuals based on their race, sex, color or ethnicity with regard to public employment, education and public contracting.
“The University of California Board of Regents today (June 15) unanimously endorsed [ACA 5] as well as the repeal of Proposition 209, which banned the consideration of race and gender in admissions decisions a quarter-century ago,” the board said in the media release.
“The votes from the governing board of the world’s preeminent public research university underscore the proactive need to help address systemic and perpetual inequalities in public education.”
“The original sin of this country has to be addressed,” Oakley said.
“This is our opportunity to right a historical wrong.”
Meanwhile, former Obama administration Homeland Security secretary and current UC President Janet Napolitano said the decision by regents is supported by all 10 of the university system’s chancellors.
“The face of the university became one that does not fully represent the rich diversity of our state. That is detrimental to UC and it’s detrimental to California,” Napolitano said.
“Now our state has a chance to take a different path.”
Napolitano added in the media release that consideration by identity or race allows the evaluation of applicants through “multiple dimensions.”
“Proposition 209 has forced California public institutions to try to address racial inequality without factoring in race, even where allowed by federal law. The diversity of our university and higher education institutions across California, should — and must — represent the rich diversity of our state,” she said.
ACA 5 will be on the Nov. 3 election ballot for state voters if it is approved in the California Senate by a margin of 2/3 before June 25.
The legislation passed the state House by a margin of 60-14 last week, CNN reported.
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