Affirmative Reaction: Mission-centered advancement is now central to education & workforce diversity as ruling reshapes DEI. With Michaele Turnage Young, Senior Counsel, LDF, & Dr. Tamara Huff. E148

The Health Disparities Podcast

Aug 15 2023 • 32 mins

Michaele Turnage Young, Senior Counsel at Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF), joins orthopedic surgeon Tamara Huff, MD, MBA, to discuss the recent SCOTUS ruling on the Fourteenth  Amendment which has impacted affirmative action.

According to the Legal Defense Fund, "the Supreme Court has bowed to pressure from anti-civil rights activists, finding that Harvard and the University of North Carolina’s affirmative action programs violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This radical decision comes at a time when efforts to advance opportunity in education have been under attack across the country, and the need for such programs remains acute."

Although the ruling is widely considered as a barrier to DEI efforts, Michaele Turnage Young shares an optimistic analysis of the ruling with Dr Huff. She outlines the many areas of DEI activity that the ruling does not affect, and discusses strategies which admissions officers can adopt. Central to this approach is supporting the mission of the many institutions aiming to address health disparities in underserved communities, where lived experience is a key qualification.

For further information on LDF please visit: &

© Movement is Life Inc., 2023


“It’s really important to understand what this ruling does and does not cover.”

“It seems to be a coordinated effort to cause a chilling effect, to lead people to retreat from efforts to further equal opportunity. These efforts have not been successful thus far.”

“Black students were 13% of US high school graduates, but only 6 % of students enrolled in large selective public colleges, while white students were 50% of US high school graduates and 56% of students enrolled in large selective public colleges.” (2020-2021 academic year).

“If you are charged with looking for talent, you want to do so in an objective way that serves your mission, and it might be that the mission of your school has something to do with serving communities that have long gone underserved.”

Producer: Rolf Taylor

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