I knew it was coming. Still, last June, I found myself at a loss of words when the United States Supreme Court decision, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturning Roe v. Wade, came down. In addition to the leaked decision draft, movement leadership, WFN members, and partners were planning for this outcome. However, despite all that awareness and planning, I felt gutted by the decision.
Now, a little over a year later, I again feel gutted by the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court. Like many of you, I am still processing the Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard ruling, undoing decades of legal precedent related to affirmative action. I am also in shock about the Court’s ruling on student loan forgiveness. I am saddened about the limiting of protections from discrimination for folks from the LGBTQ community on this last day of Pride month. However, alongside sadness, I feel a deepened resolve to continue our important work to advance gender equity and address the racism that got us here. Women, and particularly white women, have had an outsized benefit from affirmative action programs. Women of color will be disproportionately impacted by the Supreme Court’s decision to end affirmative action in college admissions. Relatedly, women and particularly Black women will experience disproportionate harm without a student loan forgiveness program in place.
There are a lot of unknowns right now. What I do know is that we can leverage our experience responding to the Dobbs decision, where we encouraged the philanthropic community to collaborate across strategies and issues. I am deeply moved by the incredible collaborative work already underway by our CHANGE partners at ABFE, AAPIP, and NAP to address the dismantling of affirmative action. I am honored to be part of an organization that signed onto this powerful philanthropic joint statement in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in ‘Students for Fair Admissions’ cases. I remain inspired by the work of our network to address attacks on affirmative action as well.
Thank you for your commitment and your collaboration.
With gratitude and hope,
Mirenda Meghelli, Esq.
Women’s Funding Network
Director of Policy and Programs