Affirmative Action

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Affirmative action is the policy of taking into consideration the race, ethnicity, and/or gender of an individual when entering a workplace or education institution. The goal of Affirmative Action was to encourage not only racial diveristy, but diversity as a whole, be it through gender, race, or other factors as well.

Affirmative action came about to rectify past social injustices to minorites, specifically African Americans, and can be considered a form of reparations to abused minorities.affirmative_action1.gif

Originally, civil rights programs like affirmative action were enacted to help African Americans become full citizens of the United States.
In March of 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed Executive Order 10925, which established the President's Commission on Equal Employment Opportunity. The Equal Employment Commission (EEOC) was charged with enforcing civil rights laws in the workplace, along with investigating discrimiation allegations. Discrimination against such traits as ethnicity, nationality, gender, color, and age are all taken into account by the Commission. Unfortunately, the EEOC experienced severe backlog that jammed its efficency as a tool agianst disrcimination.

Additionally, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibits discrimination by employers on those of race, color, gender, religion, and nationality, and those that associate with them. It also gives power to the EEOC to enforce anti-discrimation laws, acts, and orders.

After the Kennedy administration, Executive Order 11246 prohibited discrimination by Federal contactors earning more than $10,000 in government buisness in a year. The order was later ammended by Executive Order 11375 to mandate affirmative action in agencies accepting federal funds, to increase diveristy in the workplace.

Currently in the United States, Affirmative Action makes it legal to take into consideration the race of an applicant in the higher education system.

As a whole, affirmative action promoted racial integration in the workplace and eduaction during and after the civil rights movement. Integration was a main goal of the movement, and affirmative action was a tool to acheive such. Such integration continues to this day as a standing monument to the Civil Rights movement.

History:
1866- The Fouteenth Ammendment guarantees equal protection to US citizens, expanding it previously from federal action to state action
1954- Brown vs. Board of Education prohibits segregation in schools
1961- Executive Order 10925 establishes the idea of "Affirmative Action"
1964- Executive Orders 11246 and 11375
1973- Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 require affirmative action practices by the federal government