In 1961 President John F. Kennedy issued Executive Order 10925, requiring federal contractors to take affirmative action to employ workers on a nondiscriminatory basis. Since then, perhaps no issue in the modern American dialogue engenders such vociferous debate and controversy. This two-volume set contains more than 500 alphabetically arranged entries that offer current, accurate, and detailed information significantly related to affirmative action, including coverage of concepts, court cases, ethnic and social groups, events, government agencies, individuals, issues, laws, movements, and more. Entries also explore implementation of the concept in other countries, including Japan, Australia, India, South Africa, and Great Britain. Two appendices provide the full texts of Gratz v. Bollinger and Grutter v. Bollinger, the landmark affirmative action decisions handed down by the Supreme Court in June 2003.
A timeline of major events traces the development of affirmative action in the United States from 1865 to the present, a bibliography lists important general works, and a Guide to Related Topics allows readers to trace such broad themes as affirmative action and civil rights, or such important information categories as major statutes and court cases, across a range of entries. Illustrated and cross-referenced, the entries conclude with specialized further reading lists and can be accessed through a detailed subject index.