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The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights  & The Leadership Conference Education Fund
The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

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.

Fact Sheets

You can also download a packet of all equal opportunity fact sheets (pdf)

Additional Resources

Our Members