Ed. note: Dr. Lino Gonzalez, president for the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) issued the following statement on reports that the U.S. Department of Justice aims to curb diversity programs at colleges and universities throughout the country. According to the National Science Foundation, 6.1% of workers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, collectively known as STEM, are Hispanic and only 0.2% are Native American, highlighting the need for more diversity in higher education.
“We at SACNAS are deeply troubled by reports that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is seeking to utilize resources at the Department of Justice to curtail diversity in higher education. This planned assault on diversity will be an assault on higher education itself because it reduces all students’ exposure to different ideas, different viewpoints and approaches.
“This is not even an issue of political correctness, but a factor that promotes good research: evidence proves diverse scientific teams produce sounder science and are better equipped to solve problems affecting an increasingly diverse nation.
“Ignoring centuries of institutional racism, and then decades of structural discrimination in higher education, will only set America back with respect to other nations. Mr. Sessions should focus his resources on removing [and] not creating barriers for minority students whose dream is to get a college education and contribute to their country.”
— Dr. Lino Gonzalez
SACNAS is the largest and oldest multicultural and multidisciplinary STEM diversity organization in the country. The inclusive organization is dedicated to fostering the success of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans, from college students to professionals, as they work to attain advanced degrees, careers, and STEM leadership positions.