CalArts Statement on U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on Race-Conscious Admissions

As an educational community of artists whose work is grounded in openness, experimentation, critical engagement, and creative freedom, we are deeply disappointed in the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling outlawing the consideration of race as a factor in college admissions. With this decision, the court not only undermines the ability of academic institutions to fulfill our distinct missions, it signals a willful disregard of systemic inequities that have infused higher education in this country since the founding of its first university and have yet to be overcome.

While CalArts does not directly consider an applicant’s race as a “check-mark” part of our admission process, we are fiercely committed to building a community that reflects and advances the full diversity of our society, striving to make room at the center for those who have historically been pushed to the margins. We stand with our colleagues at Harvard, the University of North Carolina, and others throughout higher education as we endeavor to do this hard work together. This ruling, which goes against decades of legal precedent, complicates those efforts significantly, but it will not stop them. 

It is and always has been incumbent upon artists to speak truth to power, to use our practices to further the values that we share. At CalArts, our values are deeply rooted in equity, agency, and social justice. We therefore see this moment as a call to double down on our commitments to inclusion, diversity, equity, and access, and to raise our voices louder in support of work that moves us toward a more just and equitable society for all of its members.  

In solidarity,

Ravi S. Rajan
Tracie Costantino
Troy Allen
Vice President, Facilities Development & Management
Michael Bryant
Dean, Critical Studies
Kiara Brown
Chief of Staff to the President 
Rosanna Gamson
Dean, The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance
Allan Chen
Vice President, Institute Technology
Steven Lam
Dean, School of Art 
Michael Elgarico
Vice President, Enrollment Management
Travis Preston
Dean, School of Theater 
Anthony Garrison-Engbrecht
Vice President, Student Affairs
Abigail Severance
Dean, School of Film/Video 
Eva Graham
Institute Diversity Officer 
Volker Straebel
Dean, The Herb Alpert School of Music
Lori Husein
Senior Vice President, Finance & Administration
Joāo Ribas
Vice President for Cultural Partnerships
Steven D. Lavine Executive Director of the Roy & Edna Disney CalArts Theater (REDCAT) 
Irene Scholl-Tatevosyan
General Counsel
Ann Wiens
Vice President of Marketing & Communications


The following resources may be helpful to those who would like to dig deeper into the Supreme Court’s decision and its potential impact, as well as learning more about CalArts’ commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and access (IDEA).