Affirmative Action And The Civil Rights Movement Essay

1566 Words Dec 1st, 2015 7 Pages
Affirmative action began with the 1960 's Civil Rights Movement. The objective was to provide equal opportunities for members of minority groups and women in education and employment. The catch phrase “affirmative action” was given in 1961 when President John F. Kennedy first used the term "affirmative action" in an Executive Order directing government contractors to take "affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed and those employees are equally treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin." The Executive Order also established the President’s Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity, now known as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
The 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme court decision banned school segregation and coupled with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 it appeared that times were changing for the better. Despite the efforts that have been made to establish equal opportunity, gaps in college enrollment between minority and white students remain. In institutions of higher education, affirmative action refers to admission policies that provide equal access to education for those groups that have been historically excluded or underrepresented, such as women and minorities. In 1965 only five percent of undergraduate students, one percent of law students, and two percent of medical students in the country were African American. Colleges and universities had to make an effort to reach out to…

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