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The Evolution of Affirmative Action

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Abstract:

This report is the Executive Summary of the Research Series: "Best Practices, Imperfections, and Challenges in the State Inclusive Business Programs." It summarizes the findings from two research reports which:

- Provide a broad descriptive overview and trend of the policies and programs in all 50 states related to affirmative procurement and targeted small business development services.

- Examine the impact of state policies on the business growth rates of MBEs and WBEs and the impact of the end of affirmative action in California and Washington on self-employment rates of women and persons of color.


This research includes the following major findings:

1. More and more policy-makers are seeing the need to have the increasing diversity of their states reflected in the pool of suppliers and contractors to their state.

2. States have used a variety of approaches to respond to ballot initiatives and legal challenges that threaten affirmative action.

3. For many states, the federally mandates disadvantaged-business enterprise (DBE) program, attached to federal Department of Transportation (USDOT) funds to states, is the only inclusive business program.

4. State affirmative procurement policies do matter.

5. Ending affirmative action corresponded with increased self-employment rates among women and all minority groups in California and among white, African American, and Latina women in Washington.