As the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement prepares for a new academic year and our sixth year as a division, we are anticipating much upcoming discussion about the admissions case to be heard by the Supreme Court, Fisher v. University of Texas. Testimony begins before the Court on October 10. August 13 was the last day for amicus briefs to be filed and there have been many filed, including one on behalf of the family of Heman Marion Sweatt, the first African American to attend The University of Texas School of Law. All of the briefs may be viewed online on The University of Texas at Austin web site.
In a press release from the Sweatt family’s lawyers, Heman Sweatt’s daughter, Dr. Hemella Sweatt-Duplechan is quoted: “My cousins and I are pleased to support The University of Texas in its efforts today to create a truly diverse student body by considering applicants’ race in the context of all their qualities and life experiences. This is the kind of holistic review that my father deserved, but did not get, when he applied to UT Law School.” Other members of the family represented by the brief include Heman Sweatt’s nephews, Dr. James Leonard Sweatt III and Heman Marion Sweatt II. Those of you who have attended the Sweatt Symposium the past two years may have met members of the Sweatt family and know they remain dedicated to higher education and excellence in life’s goals. It is an honor that they have filed a brief in support of the university.
In this issue of DDCE@UT, we update you on the Fisher v. University of Texas case. We are proud to include an article about the work of one of our community partners–the Anti-Defamation League–and highlight a few of the ways we are leading for change in this division through programs such as UT Elementary School, UT Outreach and the Gateway Scholars Program. Here’s to another excellent year for DDCE.