Defending affirmative action nationally, EJS co-facilitated a series of trainings supporting state-level campaigns.
In early 2008, five states faced anti-affirmative action ballot initiatives similar to those passed in California, Washington and Michigan. Limited national support or coordination existed to assist the state coalitions working to educate the public regarding the need for equal opportunity policies and programs. In partnership with the Fulfilling the Dream Fund, the Kirwan Institute, the ACLU, the African American Policy Forum, the Leadership Conference for Civil Rights, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, and the Center for Social Inclusion, EJS served as a clearinghouse of support, communications and resources for both national and state-based organizations.
Additionally, EJS co-facilitated a series of webinar trainings to provide tools to local leaders made available by national organizations. Training topics included: the impact of anti-affirmative action policies on contracting and employment in California, Washington and Michigan; the impact of anti-affirmative action policies on educational opportunities for women and people of color; and messaging strategies for communicating about race and gender conscious policies, and how to increase public awareness of institutional unfairness and structural exclusion.
EJS coordinated local and national efforts by increasing communication between stakeholder organizations, centralizing the distribution of resources designed to promote and defend equal opportunity, identifying and addressing additional research and communication needs and educating funders and other allies about where their support was most needed.