Affirmative Action: As severe under-representation of minorities in the healthcare workforce persists, affirmative action now faces a legal challenge in the Supreme Court.

Featuring Cara McClellan, JD, MEd, and Mary I. O’Connor, MD.

Addressing the under-representation of racial minorities in the health professions is considered central to reducing overall health disparities and inequalities. Multiple “race-conscious” laws and policies have been introduced that seek to help marginalized communities, ranging from affirmative action to voting rights, reproductive rights, and environmental protections. Legal action now brought before the Supreme Court by conservative activist Edward Blum calling for all higher education admission applications to be effectively “color-blind” could end affirmative action as we know it, with wider ramifications for race-conscious legislation.

In this episode of the Health Disparities Podcast, Cara McClellan, JD from the Advocacy for Racial and Civil (ARC) Justice Clinic at the University of Pennsylvania Carey School of Law in Philadelphia unpacks the origins of affirmative action with Dr. Mary O’Connor, Chair of Movement is Life. Together they discuss the foundational impact of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, the role of the Freedmen’s Bureau, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Higher Education Act of 1965, and current judicial deliberations. Depending on how SCOTUS rules on overturning affirmative action, the long battle to desegregate higher education in the United States could take a backwards step. But are there alternative approaches?

Copyright: Movement is Life 2022