WGST Statement on SCOTUS Decisions Summer 2023

In light of recent Supreme Court decisions that have implications for historically marginalized individuals and communities, especially based on race, gender, sexuality, and class, the Women and Gender Studies program emphasizes our undeterred commitment to our values and mission “to provide opportunities for intellectual, personal, and social inquiry and interrogation related to sex; gender; gender identity/expression; sexuality; intersections of race, ethnicity, class, (dis)ability, age, nationality, immigration or citizenship status, and religion, through feminist queer and multiracial lenses, with a focus on global and transnational issues and public policy.”  

We are disappointed that these decisions pose a threat to gender, sexuality, race, and class equity, and we reiterate our strong faith in diversity, equity, inclusion, and access as the best way to address systemic inequities and historic discrimination against individuals and communities. In our ongoing endeavor to work towards a more just and equitable society, we are heartened by and join the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) commitment to “continue our collective effort to ignite and advance systemic change within the academy.”   As part of these efforts, our events, programming, courses, and center space remain spaces where we foster, encourage, and welcome a diverse national and transnational community as well as scholarly perspectives.  

In George Mason University’s response to the SCOTUS decision, we are reassured that this will not affect Mason students: “Today’s United States Supreme Court decision barring the consideration of race for college admissions will not disrupt admissions operations at George Mason University, because Mason does not factor race into its admissions decisions. George Mason’s admissions processes are race-neutral and have been test-optional for undergraduate admissions since 2007, more than a decade ahead of the national trend. As Virginia’s most diverse public university, Mason has long embraced an inclusive admissions policy that offers everyone who is academically prepared for the rigors of study at this top-ranked research university the opportunity to pursue the life of their choice.”  

We fully endorse the university’s assertion that “everyone belongs at a university like George Mason” and embrace the same principles of diversity, inclusion and equity within the Women and Gender Studies program.