Equal Opportunity Fact Sheets
President Lyndon Johnson explained the rationale behind the use of affirmative action to achieve equal opportunity in a 1965 speech: "You do not take a person, who for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say 'you are free to compete with all the others,' and still believe that you have been completely fair."
The debate over equal opportunity carries with it enormous implications for the lives of women and people of color, since such programs have created opportunities too long denied them.
Why Equal Opportunity Matters
Polls indicate that most Americans favor continuing equal opportunity programs. A growing number of public figures, including Democrats and Republicans, corporate CEOs, business owners, and university presidents have spoken out in favor of equal opportunity. However, the misinformation or mischaracterization of equal opportunity programs creates confusion.
- Facts on Equal Opportunity and African Americans
- Facts on Equal Opportunity and American Indians
- Facts on Equal Opportunity and Asian Pacific Americans
- Facts on Equal Opportunity and Latinos
- Facts on Equal Opportunity and Women
- Affirmative Action and What it Means for Women
You can also download a packet of all equal opportunity fact sheets (pdf)
- Legal Briefs Related to Equal Opportunity
- Court Decisions Related to Equal Opportunity
- What Affirmative Action Is (And What It Is Not) (pdf) - National Partnership for Women & Families - 1/1/02
- Myths and Facts About Affirmative Action - Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Affirmative Action Office - 6/12/03