Equal Opportunity:  The Evidence

Equal Opportunity:  The Evidence From California

Equal Opportunity:  The Evidence From Oklahoma

Equal Opportunity:  The Evidence From Wisconsin

(July 2012)
Equal Opportunity: The Evidence presents a wide-ranging overview of equal opportunity and affirmative action, including its importance and history. Evidence of inequality, messaging, and a list of resources are also included. This report also provides a review of public sector diversity in states in which traditional affirmative action programs have been banned. Three state-specific reports provide additional details for California, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin.


The Path to Equal Opportunity: An Investigation of Best Practices in Employment and Contracting

(May 2011)
Affirmative action and other equal opportunity programs seek to ensure equal access to opportunity and economic advancement for people who have been excluded from such opportunities, including people of color and women. Equal opportunity programs in education, employment, and contracting are abundant and, in many cases, decades old, yet there is insufficient knowledge about the importance of the various elements that make up such programs. This report distills the knowledge of experts in the field to identify the practices that are vital to successful equal opportunity programs.


The Consequences of Structural Racism, Concentrated Poverty and Violence on Young Men and Boys of Color

(April 2011)
This brief examines the broader structural and institutional elements that research implicates as the root causes of violence among boys and young men of color. It includes policy solutions and emerging and promising practices that respond to the primacy of broader structural issues, including structural racism. The brief also highlights organizations seeking to change conditions in their communities.  This brief was authored by the researchers at the Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice and published by the Warren Institute. 


School-based Restorative Justice as an Alternative to Zero-Tolerance Policies:  Lessons from West Oakland

(December 2010)
This reports is the results of its two-year study of a pilot restorative justice disciplinary program at a West Oakland middle school where 84 percent of the students were eligible for free or reduced price lunch programs and all were non-white.  The research showed that suspensions declined by 87 percent and expulsions declined to zero when the restorative justice program was used in place of the school's zero tolerance disciplinary program.


A Higher Hurdle:  Barriers to Employment for Formerly Incarcerated Women

(December 2008)
Using community participatory research and testing methods, the Henderson Center examined the extent to which a criminal record impacts the employment outcomes of formerly incarcerated women. This report adds new data to the plight of formerly incarcerated women, the fastest growing segment of the criminal justice system.  These women suffer significant personal, social, and economic hardships when they return to their home communities, including a increased difficulty in finding employment. The current report examines these difficulties.

Barriers to Employment & Reentry for Formerly Incarcerated People
(December 2008)
This is an annotated bibliography that identifies and summarizes the most significant research in the field of formerly incarcerated persons.


Proposition 209 and Public Employment in California:  Trends in Workforce Diversity

(September 2008)
Continuing our examination of the impact of Proposition 209 on California’s public sphere of equal economic opportunity, the Henderson Center analyzed the employment trends for public employees in California. This report, the first in a series of reports on public employment, examines workforce diversity, which measures the composition of the state workforce.

This research was presented at the 33rd Annual Training Conference of the California Equal Rights Professionals (CAERP) on June 17, 2009 in South Lake Tahoe, CA. You can view this presentation by clicking here. 


A Vision Fulfilled?  The Impact of Proposition 209 on Equal Opportunity for Women Business Enterprises

(September 2007)
Affirmative action programs were initiated in the 1960s to correct patterns of discrimination against people of color and women of all racial groups in order to fulfill the vision of inclusion of all people in the mainstream of the nation. In 1996, Proposition 209 eliminated affirmative action in public employment, education, and public contracting. This report summarizes the Henderson Center’s research on the 11-year impact of Proposition 209 on Women Business Enterprises seeking public contracts in California’s transportation construction industry.

This research was presented at the Inclusive Business Initiative convening sponsored by the Insight Center for Community Economic Development on July 22nd, 2008 in Kansas City, MO.  You can view this presentation by clicking here.

The Henderson Center research on the presence and removal of equal opportunity programs was presented to the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship for a roundtable on Minority Entrepreneurship:  Evaluating Small Business Resources and Programs held on September 24, 2009.  Click here to view the testimony of Michael Sumner.


Free to Compete? Measuring the Impact of Proposition 209 on Minority Business Enterprises

(August 2006)
In 1996, Proposition 209 eliminated affirmative action in public education, employment, and contracting. Called the California Civil Rights Initiative, this proposition ended race and gender-conscious programs designed to increase participation and opportunity in public contracting. Free to Compete? reports on the 10-year impact of Proposition 209 on Minority Business Enterprises seeking public contracts in California’s transportation construction industry.