Skip to Main Content

Civil Rights in the United States

Affirmative Action

Affirmative action has been defined as:

“1. The practice of selecting people for jobs, college spots, and other important posts in part because some of their characteristics are consistent with those of a group that has historically been treated unfairly by reason of race, sex, etc.; specif., a preference or decision-making advantage given to members of a racial minority that has historically been subjected to systemic discrimination. 2. An action or set of actions intended to eliminate existing and continuing discrimination, to redress lingering effects of past discrimination, and to create systems and procedures to prevent future discrimination, all by taking into account individual membership in a minority group so as to achieve minority representation in a larger group. — Also termed positive discrimination.” Black's Law Dictionary (10th ed. 2014)

University of Minnesota Law Library
Reference Desk: 612-625-4309 • Circulation Desk: 612-625-4300 • Contact Us