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.
As an Indian, affirmative action gave me the ability to learn to expand my knowledge so I could help my community back home.
I dont think it would have been possible to go to Harvard without affirmative action. Harvard has a fairly aggressive policy on admitting minority students and even as it was, the American Indian population at Harvard was really small.
I think that it benefits everyone to have minorities represented because being a minority and living in different communities and being from different backgrounds gives you a life experience that is different from what other people have had.
The majority community in the United States probably doesn't know what goes on on a reservation every day, doesn't know what goes on in an extended family, maybe in a Latino community or knows how people grow up in crowded housing or people grow up on reservations without running water or phones. People don't know that on general or in large and I think that being in places like Harvard or being on universities anywhere gives people the ability to have a lens into those communities through the experiences of their friends and their classmates. It gives them an understanding of how things really are in America.
When opponents of affirmative action say that it has no impact I think that they dont realize the value of a diverse community or a diverse background of experiences. I think that they don't realize that even a small change in a disadvantaged community creates a large ripple effect and helps the community at large.
My name is Adam Bailey. I am a member of the Oklahoma Choctaw tribe and I went to Harvard University.