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March 1990 Affirmative Action

The following statement was passed with 18 for and two abstentions:

Members of minority groups and women have historically been relegated to second-class status in the United States and have been excluded from full access to equal employment, education, and housing opportunities. Experience has demonstrated that the legal requirement of non-discrimination is not always sufficient to erase the accumulated burdens imposed on the disadvantaged in America who have historically suffered from institutionalized discrimination.

The JCRC supports affirmative actions undertaken by government and the private sector including:

• Compensatory education, training, retraining, apprenticeship, job counseling and placement, financial assistance, and other forms of help for the deprived and disadvantaged to enable them to participate in those career fields and jobs from which they have been excluded.
• Intensive recruitment of qualified and qualifiable individuals, utilizing not only traditional referral sources, but also all of those public and private resources that reach members of disadvantaged groups such as church and community groups, labor unions, civil rights organizations, and training and employment agencies.
• An ongoing review of established job and admission requirements, including examinations and other selection methods, to make certain that they are performance-related and free of cultural and sexual bias.

Where there is a history of institutional or societal discrimination, numerical goals and timetables can play a proper role in ensuring equal employment opportunity and measure the progress of an affirmative action effort. (As opposed to a quota, a specific numeric goal is a realistic objective, which can be adjusted if shown to be unrealistic. A goal requires a good faith effort by employers to meet or exceed the target number rather than a guaranteed outcome. Goals are flexible, temporary, and do not require that an employer displace existing employees.)

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