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August 08, 2000

The Facts About Affirmative Action in Employment and Education

Washington, DC - August 8, 2000 - Affirmative action remains one of the most contentious issues of public policy. It is hotly debated on talk shows, in op-ed pieces, and in news reports on and off the campaign trail. Typically, discussions are based on popular myths and misconceptions, with little or no grounding in empirical reality.

This media briefing seeks to add the "voice" of data and present the latest in research on affirmative action. The facts and findings about affirmative action in employment and education presented here are new and merit attention by the public and policymakers alike.

Three prominent sociologists, all experts on affirmative action, presented their work in a special media briefing on Monday, August 14th at 11:30 at the Marriott Wardman Hotel as part of the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association in Washington DC.

  • Barbara F. Reskin is Professor of Sociology at Harvard University and President-Elect of the American Sociological Association. Reskin served as Study Director, Committee on Women's Employment and Related Social Issues, for the National Academy of Sciences. Her publications on gender and race inequality, sex segregation, and affirmative action, including The Realities of Affirmative Action in Employment, are major contributions to social science knowledge.
  • Nancy DiTomaso is Professor of Organization Management at Rutgers University. Past President of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics, Dr. DiTomaso's specialties include the management of diversity and change. Her current research on racial inequality without racism is among the most significant studies underway on white men and affirmative action.
  • Troy Duster is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley and at New York University. A member of the Assembly of Behavioral and Social Sciences of the National Academy of Sciences, he also serves on the Board of Directors of the American Colleges and Universities. Duster is nationally known for his work on diversity in higher education.


About the American Sociological Association
The American Sociological Association (, founded in 1905, is a non-profit membership association dedicated to serving sociologists in their work, advancing sociology as a science and profession, and promoting the contributions to and use of sociology by society.