The American Civil Rights Institute (ACRI) was established in 1996 by Ward Connerly after leading the campaign in California to adopt Proposition 209. The organization opposes affirmative action and racial and gender preferences in federal, state and local government programs. It focuses on public education, policy research and supporting constitutional amendments[which?] in California, Washington, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska and Arizona that seek to abolish racial and gender preferences. ACRI also assists other anti-affirmative action organizations in various states in opposing racial and gender preferences in government programs and advancing the view that such racial and gender preferences are harmful. ACRI states that its members believe that "civil rights are individual rights and government policies should not uphold group rights over individual rights." The organization states that its goal is to achieve equal opportunity for everybody.