The Leadership Conference is working diligently to see that Tom Perez is confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Labor. Perez is an eminently qualified public servant and consensus builder who has dedicated his career to ensuring that all individuals are treated fairly and have the opportunity to succeed. He has served with integrity and distinction at the local, state and national level, compiling an outstanding record of achievement.
Students Defending Against Attacks on Affirmative Action
Feature Story by civilrights.org staff - 10/26/2004Students on more than 25 college campuses took part in this year's National Take Affirmative Action Days (NTAAD). Campuses and groups participating in NTAAD included the University of Florida, Tennessee State University, Rhode Island University, the University of Wisconsin's United Council, and the Oregon Students of Color Coalition.
For the annual event, students conducted activities such as speak outs, town hall meetings, forums on education, and phone banks.
"It's very encouraging to see students from all over the country come together to educate about the benefits of affirmative action in higher education," said Karen McGill Lawson, executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund (LCCREF). "Who would know better than students how diversity enriches an academic career? Those organizing and taking part in the week's events experience firsthand the benefits of diversity in their schools."
For the past two years, the Student of Color Campus Diversity Project of the United States Student Association (USSA), the NAACP Youth & College Division, and Americans for a Fair Chance (AFC) - a project of LCCREF - have joined together to address the backlash resulting from efforts against affirmative action. This year's event took place under the banner "Justice Affirmed, Take Action."
In furthering their commitment to support affirmative action, LCCREF, AFC, and the Student Activist Network, in partnership with USSA and NAACP Youth & College Division, in October launched "Student Speak! Students Speaking in Support of Affirmative Action." Student Speak! was created in order to expose efforts that target minority students and threaten progress for all. The campaign will work with college students nationwide to counter these attacks and build multi-racial coalitions on campuses.
The Students Speak! campaign includes obtaining and featuring written and video testimonials from students who have benefited from affirmative action and who support the need for affirmative action programs and policies at their schools; assisting colleges and universities -- especially those being targeted by opponents of affirmative action -- to develop local campaigns in order to expose intimidation tactics used by opponents of affirmative action; and supplying these local campaigns on campuses with Student Impact Grants that assist them with their work.