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Congressional Black Caucus Back Affirm. Action
2003-03-01

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U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, joined U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Democratic Leader, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-MI), U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), Vice-Chair of the Democratic Caucus, the Chairs of the Congressional Hispanic and Congressional Asian-Pacific American Caucuses, and Members of the Democratic Caucus at a press conference announcing the completion of the amicus brief in support of the University of Michigan's admission policies. Chairman Cummings issued the following statement:

'We must continue to create unity and strength from our diversity, ladies and gentlemen. Reflect for just a moment, if you will, upon the difficult challenges that we now face as a nation. That reflection will confirm for you that there is no more compelling national interest than our unity as a people.

'Unity, however, does not happen by accident—as the conflicts of our past and the difficulties that we must confront today so graphically illustrate.

'Our national unity must be constructed by conscious and far-sighted actions—policies that bind us together as a people. In this society of increasing diversity, the foundation of our unity must be constructed from millions of acts of inclusion.

'We are responsible for creating and supporting an educational system that can carry ANY American from the school houses of this nation to the Congress of the United States.

'A second message to America will be expressed by the opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States in these Michigan cases. If the Court rules as we believe that it will, the Court's message will be our message of national unity and strength.

'We know from the evidence that the minority students who have studied at world-class universities like Michigan's live up to our highest aspirations—that they contribute substantially both to our nation and to their communities.

'However, if the opponents of inclusion prevail in the Supreme Court this year—that, too, will send a message to America.

'We now realize that alternative strategies of inclusion offer little hope to those who, too often, continue to be left out and left behind.'


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