Read a PDF of our statement here.

Legal Defense Fund’s Director of Strategic Initiatives, Jin Hee Lee, submitted written testimony as part of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Education and Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development hearing, “Divisive, Excessive, Ineffective: The Real Impact of DEI on College Campuses.” Her testimony explains the unfair barriers that limit Black and other underrepresented students’ access to higher education opportunities and describes the discrimination they face on campus. She further details how diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) programs can improve outcomes for Black students. 

“As a nation, we cannot afford to forfeit the potential talent and contributions each person may offer to our country. Yet, unfortunately, Black and other underrepresented students continue to experience unfair barriers and discrimination that limit their ability to access opportunities in higher education and succeed in those institutions,” said Ms. Hee Lee writes. “Increasing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility can improve outcomes for underrepresented students and increase employment opportunities for faculty and staff of color. Nurturing potential that would otherwise be wasted benefits all of us, regardless of race.” 

LDF’s Pro Truth Initiative and Equal Protection Initiative have been monitoring attacks on DEIA issues nationally and are working to defend against attacks on DEIA at the state level, including in South Carolina, Georgia, and Texas. 

Read the full testimony here.


Founded in 1940, the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) is the nation’s first civil rights law organization. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. LDF’s Equal Protection Initiative seeks to defend and advance the proper interpretation of the Equal Protection Clause and anti-discrimination law so that it remains clear that it is legal to advance equal opportunity for all. In media attributions, please refer to us as the Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Please note that LDF has been separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957 — although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights.