Date of Award

Spring 2005

Document Type

Legacy Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Management and Decision Sciences


College of Business

First Advisor

Phil Schneider


As a fight for social justice, protecting and advancing civil rights requires constant diligence. Prevalent civil rights issues today include equal employment and educational opportunities, housing and lending, poverty and welfare, and hate crimes. The demand for equality under the law asserts that people should be treated fairly and without regard to differences like race and gender or other characteristics unrelated to the worth of the individual. The ideals of equality, liberty, and justice are all interconnected under democratic law. Yet, discrepancies exist between legal sanction and societal practice. Progress has been made toward attaining the goal of equality in terms of personhood, citizenship, and opportunity as well as in protecting the rights of individuals. However, some goals remain unreached, and new goals need to be established. There is still a concern for civil rights enforcement and a need for additional civil rights initiatives. Racial and gender inequality continues to exist in the United States because of unfair practices like discrimination as well as the fear of losing privilege. Such inequality is a concern of individual, group, and societal interests. The biggest problems inhibiting civil rights organizations are a lack of funding or law enforcement power and partisanship. This research examines the legal and ethical theories supporting the civil rights movement, past and present, and proposes social, legal, and political initiatives for the future.