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The term affirmative action was first used in an executive order by President John F. Kennedy in 1961. The motivation was to favor members of a disadvantaged group that historically suffered from discrimination due to oppression of any kind. This concept has been employed in many spheres and one of those has been to promote diversity in higher education on the basis that many universities have effectively discriminated against admitting and/or promoting minorities. Two weeks ago the U.S. Supreme Court announced a decision on affirmative action that originated in higher education. The 4-to-3 decision reaffirmed the University of Texas’s admission policies that include race and ethnicity as one of the factors in considering students’ applications.


This work was originally published in The Edwardsville Intelligencer.

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