Fight to regain affirmative action in Michigan is brewing

For five years, Michigan’s Prop 2 has excluded thousands of qualified black, Latino/a and Native American students from Michigan’s premier public colleges and universities.

The University of Michigan has seen a 36% decline in the number of underrepresented minorities in the undergraduate school of Literature, Science and Arts and a 26% decline in the undergraduate School of Engineering since 2006. The doors to graduate and professional schools have been shut even tighter – in Dentistry a 44% decline; in Medicine a 48% decline, in Law a 56% decline.

We now have our best chance in years to reverse those attacks.

On July 1, 2011, the Sixth Circuit struck down Michigan’s Proposal 2 because it violated the Fourteenth Amendment. Further evidence of the turning tide on affirmative action occurred on July 8, when California Governor Jerry Brown filed a brief in the Ninth Circuit supporting BAMN’s claim that Proposition 209, an identical anti-affirmative action law, violates the Equal Protection Clause.

Our victory at the Sixth Circuit was appealed by our opponents and will now be reviewed by the full panel of Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals judges. This en banc hearing will likely be scheduled for late January or February of 2012.

To persuade the en banc panel to reaffirm last summer’s ruling and uphold the real meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment, we need a broad, united PUBLIC campaign in support of these challenges. The 2003 demonstration of 50,000 people outside the U.S. Supreme Court was a crucial factor in the victory for affirmative action in Grutter v. Bollinger. Mass action will play no less a role in this round.

Proposal 2 nullified the Grutter victory for the people of Michigan. But now we have the opportunity to regain the ground that was lost.

TO WIN, we need you to take the following actions:

1. MAKE A DONATION AT finance buses to bring students from all over the Midwest to form A HUGE DEMONSTRATION IN CINCINNATI on the day our Prop 2 victory is reviewed by the 6th Circuit

2. Circulate Petitions (see pdf file below) demanding that the Regents and Presidents of the University of Michigan and Wayne State end their “neutrality” and stand with us in court saying these proposals are unconstitutional.

3. Organize conferences, forums, and campus rallies to mobilize support from minority students, from the black, Latino/a, and Native American communities, and from every supporter of civil rights. Call 855-ASK-BAMN (855-275-2266) to schedule a speaker.

We are fighting for the future of minority students and of our nation. Join with us to ensure that it is a future of integration and equality.

It’s time to start winning again and if this can happen in Michigan it can happen anywhere in the US.

Yours in Struggle,

Donna Stern
BAMN National Coordinator



P.S.: To get a petition and BAMN’s journal Liberator #4 “Arguments for Affirmative Action” contact Donna Stern at:,