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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

Equal opportunity means taking positive steps to end discrimination, to prevent its recurrence, and to create new opportunities that were previously denied qualified minorities and women. Americans for a Fair Chance (AFC) was founded on the belief that the measurable gains accomplished by equal opportunity initiatives contribute to the prosperity and health of our families and communities.

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Diverse ‘One Nation’ March Highlights Need for Bold Solutions, Voter Turnout in November

October 4, 2010 - Posted by Avril Lighty

Nearly 200,000 people from across America came together Saturday to rally for "jobs, justice, and education" at the "One Nation Working Together" march on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The march was designed to spur elected officials to enact a bold agenda to move our country forward, and to urge voters to take part in the mid-term elections on November 2.

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Faith Leaders Celebrate MLK's Legacy and Make Renewed Call to Action for Civil and Human Rights

August 26, 2010 - Posted by Avril Lighty

On Saturday, August 28, faith leaders and civil and human rights advocates will gather at Shiloh Baptist Church to commemorate the 47th anniversary of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech and commit themselves to renewed activism for social justice.

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Report Shows Economic Benefits of Decreasing High School Dropout Rate

July 22, 2010 - Posted by The Leadership Conference

Reducing the number of high school dropouts by 50 percent can lead to tremendous economic benefits, according to a new report from the Alliance for Excellent Education.

Drawing on data from the largest 45 metropolitan areas, the report reinforces the link between education and the economy. In these areas, 39 percent of high school students do not graduate on time with a standard diploma. However, if the national dropout rate were halved for just one graduating class in these areas, the new graduates could earn more than $4.1 billion in combined earnings, spend an additional $2.8 billion, and support up to 30,000 new jobs.

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Opponents of Equal Opportunity Admissions Denied Access to California Bar Association Data

April 29, 2010 - Posted by The Leadership Conference

A state judge in California has ruled against two researchers' request to obtain data from the California Bar Association on the long-term success of law school graduates. Judge Curtis E.A. Karnow of California Superior Court for San Francisco County held that the state bar is not legally obligated to produce the information under state public record laws.

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Utah Legislature Rejects Bid to Put Anti-Equal Opportunity Measure on 2010 Ballot

March 12, 2010 - Posted by Tyler Lewis

Last night, the Utah House of Representatives adjourned for the year without voting on HJR 24, a resolution to place an anti-equal opportunity measure on the state's 2010 ballot.

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Victory on Equal Opportunity in Missouri

February 26, 2010 - Posted by Tyler Lewis

Civil rights advocates in Missouri have successfully kept a proposed ballot initiative that would have amended the state's constitution to eliminate equal opportunity programs in higher education, employment, and contracting off the 2010 ballot.

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African-American and Mexican-American Admissions to Law Schools Declining

January 14, 2010 - Posted by Tyler Lewis

Despite their rising LSAT scores and undergraduate grade point averages between 1993 and 2008, the number of African-American and Mexican-American students admitted to law schools for the same period decreased, according to a new study by Columbia University.

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Minority-Owned Businesses Not Getting Economic Recovery Loans

December 22, 2009 - Posted by Tyler Lewis

Recent data analyzed by New America Media show that Small Business Administration loans made to struggling businesses as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are not going to minority-owned businesses.

The America's Recovery Capital (ARC) Loan Program provides loans of up to $35,000 to help small businesses make it through the recession. Of the nearly 4,500 loans handed out this year, 3 percent went to Hispanic-owned businesses, 3 percent went to Asian- or Pacific Islander-owned businesses, and only 1.5 percent went to Black-owned businesses.

More than 91 percent of these loans went to White-owned businesses.

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In California, Women Virtually Absent from Corporate Boardrooms

December 9, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference

Approximately nine out of 10 top management and board positions at public companies based in California are held by men, according to a recent study from the University of California (UC) at Davis.

Utilizing information that companies were required to file with the Securities and Exchange Commission through May 15, 2009 – researchers found that only 10.6 percent of board seats and executive positions in California's 400 largest firms are held by women. Almost one third of those companies (118) have no women on their boards and no women in their executive offices.

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Federal District Court Upholds University of Texas Equal Opportunity Admissions Policy

September 25, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference

In a major victory for equal opportunity, a federal district court ruled in favor of the University of Texas at Austin's current admissions policy, in which race is only part of the consideration process for students' admission to the university. 

The court's decision, issued by Judge Sam Sparks, lauds University of Texas' plan to "break down racial stereotypes, enable students to better understand persons of different races, better prepare students to function in a multi-cultural workforce, cultivate the next set of national leaders, and prevent minority students from serving as 'spokespersons' for their race."

The case, Fisher v. Texas, is the first to challenge the Supreme Court's 2003 decision in Grutter v. Bollinger, which upheld the use of race as one of many factors colleges and universities can use in admissions.

In recent years, Texas has been a hotbed for both advocates and opponents of equal opportunity admissions.  From 1996-2003, consideration of race in the admissions process was deemed unconstitutional in Texas by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which resulted in a sharp decline of minority enrollment at Texas colleges and universities.  University of Texas at Austin's current admissions policy was adopted following Grutter, and works in tandem with a state law guaranteeing admission to the state university school system for high school students ranking in the top 10 percent of their graduating class.

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