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December 11, 2015


The Honorable Antonin Scalia

Supreme Court Associate Justice

Supreme Court of the United States

1 First Street, NE

Washington, DC 20543


Dear Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia,

I find it disappointing that even in 2015, more than 60 years since the Brown v. Board of Education decision, that a Supreme Court Justice would question the importance of integration and, more importantly, whether or not African American students belong in the top universities.

Every day across the country, including right here in Chicago, young African American boys and girls are stepping up to the plate, tackling challenges and successfully navigating an educational system that has historically failed them.

For almost 100 years the Chicago Urban League has worked to provide opportunities to students who have been counted out by mainstream society.

Students like Ty’Nya Larry, a freshman at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign majoring in Chemical Engineering who against all odds became a first generation college student… at one of those top universities.

Or Ghana Horton, a part of the largest incoming class at Morehouse College who survived abandonment, abuse and homelessness to make it to pursue his post-secondary education.

Ty’Nya and Ghana are representative of just a few of the students with whom we have the honor of helping leap over the wall of institutional racism and disparity that you and far too many others keep holding up.

For the past 8 years, 100% of high school seniors in our Student Development program have not only been accepted into college, but have enrolled at schools such as Loyola, Marquette, Hampton, Michigan State, Stanford, University of Missouri to name a few and they continue to succeed against all odds.

Our African American youth are not who you purport them to be.

Sadly, you have underscored everything many in the Black community have believed you to be. Even a judicial robe can’t cover up beliefs — and actions – steeped in ignorance and racism.

Justice Scalia, you’ve discounted our children. Certainly, you will continue to hear from many across the country that you are unwise to do so. Not only will our children lead us into the future, they will make this world a better place for generations to come. And when our Black youth one day make their way to the highest tribunal in the nation, rest assured their judicial decisions will be reflective of truly equitable socio-economic philosophy.

Danielle Parker

Director of the Center for Student Development