WASHINGTON—The Heritage Foundation announced Thursday that it awarded the 2023 Salvatori Prize for American Citizenship to Students for Fair Admissions, an organization committed to defending the principle that every American is equal in the eyes of the law, regardless of race.
Students for Fair Admissions, under the leadership of president Edward J. Blum, boasts a nonprofit membership group of more than 20,000 students, parents, and others who believe that racial classifications and preferences in college admissions are unfair, unnecessary, and unconstitutional.
The group’s mission is to support and participate in litigation that will restore the original principles of our nation’s civil rights movement: A student’s race and ethnicity should not be factors that either harm or help that student to gain admission to a competitive university.
Because of Blum’s hard work at Students for Fair Admission, the U.S. Supreme Court is on the verge of ruling on the Harvard and UNC cases on racial preferences in college admissions. A favorable ruling would correct a wrong that has, for decades, unfairly punished students across the country from “non-preferred” races and ethnicities seeking the opportunity to be considered for the school of their choosing based solely on their merit.
Heritage Foundation President Dr. Kevin Roberts released the following statement on the award:
“Equality before the law is foundational to the American founding, our Republic, and our way of life. However, we live in a time when far too many are willing to turn a blind eye to racial discrimination if it comports with modern ideas about ‘racial or social justice.’
“I am so grateful for the work of Students for Fair Admissions as they work on behalf of students who deserve an equal opportunity to succeed in front of the Supreme Court. Now more than ever, we must uphold the American principle that dedication, hard work, and character are the most important drivers of success. I know that Students for Fair Admissions is committed to this task and I’m hopeful that their work will end the blatant discrimination we’ve seen in higher education admissions."
Accepting the award at the Intermediate Legal Strategy Forum, Blum said:
“On behalf of the 22,000 members of Students for Fair Admissions, please accept our gratitude for awarding us the Salvatori Prize for American Leadership. This organization has been honored to have the skill and dedication of some of the nation’s most talented lawyers litigate these cases on behalf of our students. Our thanks go out to the Consovoy McCarthy law firm for their leadership in helping to restore the colorblind legal covenant that binds our nation together.”
Background: The Salvatori Prize is given annually to “an American citizen or organization who upholds and advances the principles of the American Founding, embodies the virtues of character and mind that animated the Founders and exemplifies the spirit of independent and entrepreneurial citizenship in the United States.” It is given under the namesake of Henry Salvatori, who was an immigrant, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and dedicated conservative activist.
Previous recipients include Tucker Carlson, Moms for Liberty, the Washington Free Beacon, Mollie Hemingway, Dr. Robert Jackson, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, the Green and Hahns families, and U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Dr. Ben Carson.