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Resolution on Continued Support For Affirmative Action

Approved by the NCC General Assembly November 14, 1997

WHEREAS on September 5, 1997 the Supreme Court refused to block implementation of California's Proposition 209 and on November 3, 1997 declined to rule on the constitutionality of Proposition 209, thereby upholding that measure; and

WHEREAS Proposition 209 prohibits "the granting of preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting", thereby ending government efforts to remedy past discrimination; and

WHEREAS the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. (NCCCUSA) has urged its member churches and United States ecumenical agencies to reaffirm and increase their support of those efforts seeking to insure equal representation of minorities and women in American life; and

WHEREAS the U.S. Congress is currently giving attention to legislation that would nullify affirmative action; and

WHEREAS economics is often at the heart of racism and sexism in the United States; and

WHEREAS people of color and women have been systematically denied access to employment, promotion and employment-oriented training programs, as well as made to suffer wage and salary disparities when hired;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the National Council of Churches commits itself and commends its member communions and other ecumenical agencies:

- to continue support of and advocacy for effective affirmative action programs, statutes, policies and practices;

- to speak out against retrogressive legislative and other attempts to rescind or weaken affirmative action statutes on municipal, state or federal levels;

- to align themselves with others of good will to defeat anti-affirmative action initiatives constructed to "turn back the clock", which are attempts to establish Proposition 209 at the federal level; and

- to encourage members to exercise their constitutional and civil responsibilities fully in helping to defeat these and other assaults on productive affirmative action programs.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the NCCCUSA through its Washington Office on Public Policy and its Units will assist member communions and partners in ecumenical and interreligious organizations through educational and advocacy activities to foster the understanding that California's Proposition 209 and similar state and federal legislation and executive orders are antithetical to achieving a mature, diverse, and egalitarian society.