Museum Statement on Supreme Court Affirmative Action Decision


Memphis, TN, June 30, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Yesterday’s landmark Supreme Court decision to reject race-conscious affirmative action in college admissions reminds us that the struggle for racial justice and equality continues and is ever-present. This decision creates serious challenges to bring racial equity to the nation’s institutions of higher education and undermines the decades of work that has been done to address systemic racism in our schools.

In 1954, the Supreme Court struck down state-sanctioned segregation in public schools and found it unconstitutional. And the Civil Rights Act of 1964 went even further to protect the integration of schools and other public places. It has been almost six decades since the latter decision and although schools are not legally segregated today, we continue to see significant disparities throughout our educational system and low representation of Black and Brown students in most higher education institutions.


This recent Supreme Court decision is a poignant reminder that the critical work to correct the generational impacts of our country’s long history of systemic racism is not finished. As Coretta Scott King wisely shared, “Freedom is never really won. You earn it and win it in every generation. That is what we have not taught young people, or older ones for that matter. You do not finally win a state of freedom that is protected forever. It doesn’t work that way.”

Our mission and ongoing work at the National Civil Rights Museum to educate visitors on the American Civil Rights Movement and inspire positive social change is more important than ever. The National Civil Rights Museum will continue to highlight the monumental efforts of generations of civil and human rights leaders and serve as our local and national community’s public square – a place where we all can come together to do the work that must continue to create more diverse, equitable and inclusive opportunities for all. We invite you to visit to learn more and join our collective efforts.

Dr. Russ Wigginton
National Civil Rights Museum

CONTACT: Connie Dyson National Civil Rights Museum 901-331-5460 [email protected] 

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