Explanation of Affirmative Action
In the United States, affirmative action refers to policies that take gender, race, or ethnicity into account in an attempt to promote equal opportunity and increase ethnic diversity in workplaces and schools. The focus of such policies ranges from employment and public contracting goals, to educational outreach and health programs. The impetus towards affirmative action is twofold: to maximize diversity and its presumed benefits in all levels of society, and to redress perceived disadvantages due to overt, institutional, or involuntary discrimination. Affirmative Action is the set of public policies and initiatives designed to help eliminate past and present discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin (Sykes, 2009).