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Ending Racial Preferences: The Michigan Story

Recorded on June 17, 2008

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

In 2006, Michigan voters banned affirmative action preferences in public contracting, education, and employment.  The Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI) vote was preceded by years of campaigning, legal maneuvers, media coverage, and public debate.  Ending Racial Preferences: The Michigan Story relates what happened from the vantage point of Toward A Fair Michigan (TAFM), a nonprofit organization that provided a civic forum for the discussion of preferences.  Editor Carol M. Allen reproduces remarks delivered at a TAFM debate, along with a compilation of pro and con responses by 14 experts to 50 questions regarding preferences.  Ending Racial Preferences offers a timely "inside look" into how TAFM fostered dialogue by emphasizing education over indoctrination, reason over rhetoric, and civil debate over protest.

Ending Racial Preferences: The Michigan Story tells how determined citizens mobilized to end racial preferences despite the opposition of every civic and political institution in the state. The success of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative vindicates Allen's belief in the ability of democratic institutions to withstand the pressures of modern interest group politics.

        - Terence J. Pell, President, Center for Individual Rights