CWA Staff Representative Judy Graves speaks at the rally.
Below: Hundreds of people gathered on the Supreme Court's steps in support of the University of Texas.
As hundreds of civil rights leaders and students gathered on the Supreme Court steps, CWA Staff Representative Judy Graves spoke out in support of the University of Texas's race-conscious admissions process.
"I believe we just don't learn as much or as well when we are surrounded by people like ourselves," said Graves, standing with her husband Orell Fitzsimmons, both of whom are University of Texas parents. "Diversity doesn't just happen. The Supreme Court needs to reaffirm the University of Texas' right to foster diversity."
The National Action Network and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights hosted the rally during oral arguments in the case of Fisher v. University of Texas, which will decide the future of affirmative action in college admissions. Abigail Fisher, who is white, was denied admission to the university in 2008. She then sued, claiming she had been discriminated against on the basis of her race.
Graves and Fitzsimmons's daughter attended the University of Texas, which automatically admits the top 10 percent of students from all Texas high schools.
"Like Ms. Fisher, she was not automatically accepted under the state's top 10 percent rule, but she persevered, was offered admission, and proudly accepted," Graves said. "She graduated with honors four years later and quickly found a job. Living and learning with people from different backgrounds has helped her succeed in her field of journalism."