American Civil Rights Institute

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The American Civil Rights Institute is a non-profit organization located in Sacramento, California founded by Ward Connerly and Thomas L. "Dusty" Rhodes in opposition to racial and gender preferences.[1][2] The organization describes itself as "a national civil rights organization created to educate the public on the harms of racial and gender preferences." The American Civil Rights Institute also known as The American Civil Right Coalition wasn't fully formed until 1997, in order to take the battle against affirmative action nationwide.

Ward Connerly[edit]

Ward, the President of the American Civil Rights Institute focused on educating the public about the need to move beyond race, specifically, racial and gender preferences. Mr. Connerly has gained attention as being an outspoken advocate of equal opportunity for all Americans, regardless of race, sex, or ethnic background. Ward Connerly was President and Chief Executive Officer of Connerly & Associates, a consulting firm in Sacramento, that primarily focuses on association management and land development and was founded in 1973. "If you really believe in freedom and limited government, to be intellectually consistent and honest you have to oppose efforts of the majority to impose their will on people" quoted by Ward Connerly.

Mr. Ward Connerly

Thomas L. "Dusty" Rhodes[edit]

Thomas, was President of National Review, a co-founder of the American Civil Rights Institute, and a political editor. Mr. Rhodes resigned as the President of National Review on June 30, 2010. Rhodes has be involved in the Conservative Movement for years. Being one of the founders of the Project to Republican Future, which has led to major formulated debates and impacted several public policy issues.


The American Civil Rights Institute (ACRI) was established in 1996 by Ward Connerly and Thomas L. "Dusty" Rhodes( President of Review) after leading the campaign in California to adopt Proposition 209.[3] 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.[4]

Activities & Events '[edit]

Year Event
1998 Washington state voters approve "Initiative 200" which bans the state form using race, gender or sex to give preferential treatment in employment, contracting or public education admissions.
1999 Connerly petitioned in support of a 2000 ballot initiative to overturn affirmative action in Florida. Supporters of the "Florida Civil Rights Initiative" gathered signatures, then waited for the Supreme Courts decision to approve the ballot.
2000 Thousands of Civil Rights Supporters march in Tallahassee, Florida in response to Gov. Jeb. Bush's own anti-affirmative action plan "One Florida".
2002 ACRI's "Racial Privacy Initiative", a proposed constitutional amendment which would ban state and government from collecting racial data.
  • "Michigan Civil Rights Initiative", placed an anti-affirmative action ballot on the 2006 ballot.
  • Michigan voters approved the affirmative action plan ban by a 58-42 percent win.
  • On the November 2008 ballot (Same Sex Marriage), sponsored petition drives in up to five states-Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. The Initiative failed to make it on the ballot in Arizona, Missouri, and Oklahoma and was rejected in Colorado.


Mr. Ward Connerly takes in donates to help fund ACRI. In 2001, Mr. Connerly received $700,000 from Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation of Milwaukee for his anti-affirmative action campaign in California. Mr. Connerly also gained 150,000 from Olin Foundation and $200,000 from Richard Mellon Scaife.


  1. ^ "American Civil Rights". Retrieved 10 November 2015. 
  2. ^ "Right Wing Watch". Retrieved 10 November 2015. 
  3. ^
  4. ^


  1. ^ "Facebook". Retrieved 10 November 2015.