Chicago professor OiYan Poon among affirmative action protesters amid Supreme Court oral arguments today

CHICAGO (WLS) — Chicagoan OiYan Poon and her daughter spent Monday morning protesting on the steps of the Supreme Court.

Poon co-wrote an amicus brief in support of affirmative action with more than 1,200 expert researchers and professors on Asian Americans and college access.

“It was really important for me to be here because I’ve been working on research on race and college access for 10, 15 years,” said Poon, who is currently a visiting professor of education at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Oral arguments began Monday morning on cases involving admissions policies at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina.

Students for Fair Admissions sued the schools in 2014, alleging discrimination against Asian American applicants.

The group is led by longtime conservative activist Edward Blum.

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He had previously enlisted white students to challenge the race-based admissions policy at the University of Texas and lost.

“Mr. Blum decided a long time ago that having white candidates challenging the systems is a less sympathetic casualty than, say, an Asian American candidate,” said Alvin Tillery, who heads from the Center for the Study of Diversity. & Democracy at Northwestern University.

In the 1960s, many colleges and universities began to consider the racial background of applicants in order to diversify their campuses.

Anthony S. Chen, a Northwestern professor of political science and sociology, is co-author of a book on affirmative action.

“What really stands out for you is that when you look at the development of affirmative action and college admissions over time, that’s how important the role this breed plays today is. limited compared to the role she played before. And that’s because the court said he had to play a limited role,” he said.

Based on its current makeup, many legal experts believe the High Court will end affirmative action in college admissions, which could also impact workplace diversity efforts.

“If the court goes so far as to endorse a completely colorblind approach to the law, it’s hard to overstate how dramatic the effect this could have on politics of all kinds across the country is,” Carolyn said. Shapiro, co-director of the Chicago-Kent’s Institute at the United States Supreme Court.

DePaul and Loyola universities as well as the University of Chicago have taken public stances on the Harvard and UNC cases, urging judges to maintain affirmative action.

Poon is worried, but hopeful.

“It feels like game seven in a very long battle. And hopefully we win and a diverse democracy wins,” she said.

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