Affirmative Action: Equal Opportunity and Diversity for Minorities

2223 Words May 25th, 2011 9 Pages
Affirmative Action: Equal Opportunity and Diversity for Minorities
The term "Affirmative Action" originated in the United States and first referenced when President John F. Kennedy signed Executive Order 10925 on March 6, 1961 (Infoplease 2000-2007). The term was used in the Order to mandate federal employers to take affirmative action to ensure employment practices are free from racial discrimination against minority groups. Executive Order 10925 increased diversity between minorities and whites but was not enforced until four years later under Executive Order 11246, signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson. This act has since been expanded several times to prohibit discrimination and influenced implementation of other acts, such as The
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Since its existence, “the Commission has focused on but one simply stated mission: the elimination of illegal discrimination from the workplace” (EEOC, n.d.). Since 1964 the EEOC has been successful as the lead enforcement agency of workplace discrimination. Over the four decades that EEOC has existed, it has been a valued supporter for the group of people it was mainly created to serve. Those groups include all peoples of the nation, not limited to African-Americans alone, because discrimination can happen to anyone of any race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, and of either sex.
Contrary to popular belief, African Americans are not the primary beneficiaries of affirmative action. Rather, women have benefited from these policies as well which promote equality in employment and education for them as well. When we think of affirmative action it is easy to assume it only relates to the Black race. This is due to the fact that critics of affirmative action characterize it as a Black issue because this enables them to portray these policies as undeserved hand-outs to an under qualified group of people.
Before the 19th century women fought to have the same rights afforded to them as men. The women 's rights movement later established numerous rights and privileges for women due to the diligence and determination of groups with female and male members. The amendment of several orders previously set in place for
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