Toward a Fair Michigan Records

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Toward a Fair Michigan Records

The materials in this Deep Blue collection form part of a larger record group held at the Bentley Historical Library. For a more complete index of the collection, please consult the online finding aid.

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501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization formed in February 2005 to open dialogue and increase citizen participation in the debate surrounding Proposal 2 (also known as the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative), the ballot initiative that ended affirmative action programs in Michigan and was passed in November 2006. Includes correspondence, press coverage, administrative files, the video Where Do You Stand? and planning materials as well as audio and video recordings related to public forums and debates on Proposal 2 and affirmative action.

Toward A Fair Michigan (TAFM) was a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization formed in February 2005 in the midst of growing public debate around Proposal 2 (also known as the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative or MCRI), a ballot initiative that sought to ban affirmative action and the use of preferences in decisions regarding public employment, education, and contracting. Based in East Lansing, TAFM was co-founded by Dr. William Barclay Allen, former Commissioner of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and Barbara Grutter, lead plaintiff in the 2003 U.S. Supreme Court case (Grutter v. Bollinger) which upheld the University of Michigan Law School’s use of affirmative action in its admissions policy.

While both Grutter and Allen favored the enactment of Proposal 2, TAFM sought to rise above partisan politics and further the public’s understanding of equal opportunity issues in Michigan by promoting a civil and open exchange of views on affirmative action. To this end, TAFM organized a series of public forums leading up to November 2006 in which proponents and opponents of Proposal 2 debated the important legal and social issues at stake in the election. Other TAFM activities included filing an amicus brief to support the ballot initiative process, publication of resource and reference materials related to affirmative action preferences, and production of the video documentary Where Do You Stand?

Following the passage of Proposal 2, TAFM adopted a new programmatic focus with the launch of ANCORE (“A New Conversation on Race and Ethnicity”). In this phase, TAFM also sought to publicize and promote steps taken to implement Proposal 2 and encourage state and local governments to adhere to the letter and spirit of the 2006 election decision. To accomplish these goals, the group conducted a survey of affirmative action-based discrimination in Michigan, monitored compliance with the new amendment, and unsuccessfully petitioned the U.S. District Court to block a constitutional challenge to Proposal 2. Program Director Carol Allen also compiled and wrote Ending Racial Preferences: The Michigan Story (2008), an account of TAFM's genesis and the struggle against affirmative action preferences in Michigan and other states where similar initiatives have been passed. On October 22, 2008, the TAFM board voted to dissolve the corporation and transfer its financial assets to the Center for Individual Rights.

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Copyright held by the Regents of the University of Michigan.

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