Professors Declare Support for March 8th Day of Action to Reverse the
This spring is a watershed for the UC System and the State of
California. The gravity of this moment demands the utmost commitment
and dedication from students and faculty alike. Our determination and
action so far have brought us within reach of a tremendous victory-the
UC Regents are now considering reversing their July 1995 ban on
affirmative action, possibly at their March or May 2001 meeting.
We are educators. The State of California has entrusted us, professors,
lecturers, and staff of the University of California, with the duty of
educating California's sons and daughters to become the leaders of the
future. However, the restrictions imposed by the UC Regents' ban have
made it impossible for us to fulfill our educational mission.
The terrible consequences of the UC Regents' ban have become clear to
all in California. The Regents have posted a huge "Unwelcome" sign for
all black, Latino, and other minority students who want to come to the
UC. The ban has created a two-tier system of education within our
midst. The stifling reality of segregated classrooms has created an
unbearable situation for faculty and students, particularly minority
students. If the UC System itself is tainted by the segregation and
racial inequality that have too long poisoned our national life, a
stamp of hypocrisy is placed on our entire project, despite all of our
sincere and diligent efforts.
The people of California look to the UC for leadership. It was in this
spirit that they took their cue from the Regents when voting on
Proposition 209. The UC must provide leadership to California
again-this is why the UC Regents must reverse their ban on affirmative
action in the UC System NOW.
It was in this spirit that professors called a walkout across the UC
system on October 21-22, 1998. The outpouring of support from thousands
of students, other faculty, and staff was overwhelming. Our taking this
united stand has helped inspire a movement that has now brought us so
close to victory.
In keeping with our tradition of uniting with students for change, we
declare our support for the Day of Action to Reverse the Ban Now to be
held March 8, 2001. On this day, rallies, marches, and other events
will occur across the UC system. We will show our support in a number
of ways-canceling class, replacing normal curriculum with discussion on
affirmative action, or encouraging our students to attend Day of Action
events. Once again, we must make clear to the state and the nation that
the UC Regents' decision was one they undertook on their own, against
the will and advice of UC students and faculty.
March 8 can mark a turning point for the UC System and for California.
We invite all our colleagues, students, and staff to join us in our
protest, to take a stand alongside us on campuses across California on
March 8, 2001 and demand that the UC Regents reverse their ban now.