We are deeply disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision to eliminate Affirmative Action protections. Affirmative action was put in place to address racist discrimination in education and employment. Affirmative action has proved to be a powerful vehicle to underminehistoric and systemic racism and help provide critical access to underrepresentedcommunities. This decision has the potential to negatively impact millions of people experiencing homelessness, making it harder for individuals and families to access housing, education, and economic opportunities.
Already, people of color are disproportionately affected by poverty and homelessness. African Americans, Native Americans, Hawaiian Pacific Islanders, Latinx/e, and Asians have endured centuries of historic racism and discrimination. The National Coalition for the Homeless and the homeless service community have been working hard to undo the effects of Systemic Oppression, but this ruling is a major setback to our progress.
By making affirmative action illegal, the Supreme Court is creating even more barriers for historically and socially marginalized populations. Without these protections, qualified individuals who have faced systemic oppression may not have the same opportunities as others. This will lead to greater economic disparities, growth in poverty and homelessness, and an increased risk of being unhoused.
The court’s decision to allow businesses to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation could have further damaging affect on people who are forced into poverty and homelessness. The vast majority of shelters and service organizations that provide vital resources to those of us who are unhoused or poor are privately run. This decision could further prevent those identifying as LBGTQIA+, who also disproportionately experience homelessness, from accessing life-saving shelter and resources.
It is crucial for our communities to take action in order to continue reversing centuries of racial oppression, and other forms of discrimination. Even though the Supreme Court has dismantled policies without recognizing the harm it will cause, we can remain dedicated to ensuring that all our neighbors have equitable access to human rights including housing and education, and vital economic resources.
The National Coalition for the Homeless remains committed to advocating for diverseindividuals and families who have been historically discriminated against and disadvantaged and promoting human rights including housing and education.
Explore ways to empower and to build leadership from among diverse individuals who have experienced homelessness or are currently unhoused, hire your former clients, and build power among those who have been traditionally left out of decision-making tables! See more in our Lived Experience pages.
Join us as we work to build a more equitable and just society.