From the desk of Dr. Lorenzo L. Esters
President of The Indianapolis Foundation
For more than 50 years colleges and universities across America have taken affirmative approaches towards admissions to make their campuses diverse. These approaches have included considering an applicant’s race as one aspect of admissions. Yesterday, the Supreme Court decided that no college in the United States should consider an applicant’s race in admissions. As an African American man and first-generation college student from a working-class family, I am one of many Americans who have benefited from the country’s decision to act affirmatively in dismantling systemic racism and opening doors to opportunity for all Americans.
The Supreme Court’s decision will become law, but it will not change the fact that systemic racism still exists within our society and that there remain tremendous inequities in accessing higher education and achieving the American Dream. That is why—as of this week— I am so proud to join The Indianapolis Foundation as its president. For more over 100 years, The Indianapolis Foundation has worked to seize opportunities to improve the quality of life in Marion County by taking on challenging issues, seeking and supporting innovative solutions and collaborating with community partners and donors on various projects and equity-based initiatives to transform Indianapolis for the better. Since 2018, and under the leadership of my predecessor, Brian Payne, The Indianapolis Foundation has worked with and for our community, to become an anti-racist, multicultural organization.
The Supreme Court’s decision will become law, but it will not change the fact that systemic racism still exists within our society and that there remain tremendous inequities in accessing higher education and achieving the American Dream.
While yesterday’s decision is disappointing, it is one that must motivate all of us who believe in the value of diversity and our mission of equitable opportunity for all to reach their full potential—no matter place, race or identity, that we must continue the fight for a more perfect and just community. Today, we at The Indianapolis Foundation reaffirm our commitment to intentionally and boldly redesign ourselves and our partnerships with our community to drive the advancement of our mission in new and innovative ways. I welcome the opportunity to work with all those who also believe in this promise.
Dr. Lorenzo L. Esters,
President, The Indianapolis Foundation