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Body of Paper

Address the following, based on revising the assignments you submitted previously:

  • Analyze the social justice issue and its connection to the chosen population, addressing cultural values, privilege, and power in your analysis.
  • Analyze the federal policy and its connection to the social justice problem and the targeted population.
  • Analyze the historical issues and context leading up to, and including, the development of the policy.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the policy, including addressing issues with policy design, implementation practices, and external constraints that inhibit effectiveness.
  • Evaluate the feasibility of the policy from political, economic, and administrative perspectives.
  1. Provide a brief summary of the current state of the policy's implementation in regard to the chosen social justice issue and target population.
  2. Draw conclusions based on your analysis about the continuing effectiveness of the policy. What have been the policy's strengths and weaknesses, and how might these look going forward? Cite specific  examples to support your analysis.
  1. Provide recommendations to improve the policy or to replace it with alternative solutions, including a plan for how you will advocate for these changes. Should the policy be replaced, modified, or extended upon?      
    • Justify your recommendations for new policies or revisions with a detailed rationale.
    • Describe how the new or revised policy for the chosen population will be implemented into policy planning and action.
    •  3000 words



Policy Selection and Background

Patrice Scope

Capella University

SWK5002 Social Welfare History Policy Practice


Policy Selection and Background

A major social justice problem in the US is the discrimination that African Americans are subjected to. Compared to white people, African Americans tend to be oppressed and be mistreated in various contexts such as being denied equal opportunities to access social services. The discrimination and oppression that they face due to their skin color have also led to the deaths of many African Americans and limited access to various opportunities such as economic prosperity and quality healthcare, among others. In this context, this paper reviews a policy that was enacted by Congress to deal with the discrimination that African Americans face.

The selected policy that is connected to this social justice problem is the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The purpose of this policy is to prohibit the segregation of American citizens based on race, national origin, or religion in all public areas (Hersch & Shinall, 2015). Thus, the Act ensures that African Americans cannot be denied any social services based on their skin color. There are several programs and services that are provided through the policy. For example, Title VII of the Act prohibits the discrimination of people by labor unions and employers based on gender, race, national origin, and religion. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission facilitates this program and has the mandate to file lawsuits on behalf of the aggrieved parties. Additionally, the Act has prohibited the utilization of federal funds to facilitate any discriminatory program in the country. The Act also ensures that all people have equal voting rights and that the Department of Education has the mandate to prevent racial segregation in learning institutions.

The social justice problem of African Americans being discriminated against is not a new problem that has recently arisen but rather an old one that seemingly never gets fully resolved. Certain historical issues led to the creation of the social problem and the policy development. The problem can be traced back to the 17th century when Africans were sold to America as slaves. Due to their skin color, they were perceived as inferior to white people. This is a misconception that has stuck with many white people to date (Hersch & Shinall, 2015). The fate of enslaved people in the US is something that divided the country during the Civil War and long after the war. After the Civil War, three amendments were made to the constitution to abolish slavery and deal with the racism faced by minority groups in the country. The 13th Amendment abolished slavery, the 14th Amendment gave citizenship to formerly enslaved individuals, and the 15th Amendment gave all men voting rights regardless of their race (Aiken, Salmon, & Hanges, 2013).

However, many states, especially the southern ones, created hurdles to keep African Americans disenfranchised, for instance, using literacy tests, poll taxes, and Jim Crow laws, which gave power to white supremacists groups to undertake violent acts against African Americans. The legacy of slavery and racism persisted in the country and it spurred resistance movements such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Underground Railroad, and the Selma to Montgomery March. Currently, there is the Black Lives Matter Movement. Throughout the years, these movements have spurred black writers, artists, and leaders to emerge in the country and shape the identity and character of the US.

It is worth noting that certain legislative leaders influenced the policy historically. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy made a proposal for the most comprehensive civil rights legislation at the time as he asserted that the country would only be fully free if all Americans are free. Following his assassination, President Lyndon B. Johnson took over his quest in Congress. However, as the House of Representatives debated the proposed legislation, southerners argued that the proposal unconstitutionally usurped states’ rights and individual liberties. Regarding the voting outcomes for the policy, the bill was approved by the House following a bipartisan vote of 290-130 (Aiken, Salmon, & Hanges, 2013).

When the bill was taken to the Senate, it was debated extensively. Eventually, it received the two-thirds votes that were necessary to cease the debate in a 73-27 final vote tally in favor of the bill (Aiken, Salmon, & Hanges, 2013). One notable supporter of the bill was Senator Clair Engle from California was too ill to speak and had to vote by pointing to his eye as a way of signaling the ‘aye’ word to show his support. Other major legislative leaders who supported the bill were Everett Dirksen and Hubert Humphrey. It is also essential to acknowledge civil rights leaders like Roy Wilkins and Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) whose roles in the civil rights movement were instrumental in pushing Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act (Aiken, Salmon, & Hanges, 2013). On July 2, 1964, President Johnson signed the bill into law.

These historical features have had a major impact on the policy’s implementation. For starters, it is important to note that Democrats were the ones who largely supported the bill while the Republicans rejected it. This explains why most southern states have been largely Republican strongholds over the years. However, at the present, all legislative leaders openly influence the policy. With the country being more progressive than before, leaders are conscious of their image, and those who do not support civil rights, if any, do not openly acknowledge their prejudices. More so, the elected leaders come from diverse races, genders, and backgrounds. Hence, it is clear that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is gaining strength over the years due to the diversity witnessed in public spaces.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was referred to by MLK as ‘a second emancipation.’ This Act laid the foundation for the many rights and freedoms that the constitution currently affords to African Americans and other minority or marginalized groups in the country such as women, the disabled, and the elderly, among others. The Act facilitated the creation of two follow-up laws. The first one is the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which banned the use of literacy tests and any discriminatory practices that prevent black people from voting. The second one is the 1968 Fair Housing Act, which prohibited discrimination in the financing, renting, and sale of property.

Although discrimination has legally been defeated in the country, practically, racism continues ravaging the country and prevents African Americans from fully enjoying their social rights. Over the years, the hallmarks of American democracy – prosperity, freedom, and opportunity – have largely been a reserve for the white community via the intentional oppression and exclusion of people of color (Wiecek, 2011). The deep ethnic and racial inequities that currently exist in the country are being driven by structural and institutional racism. There are contemporary and historical norms, practices, and policies, which continue creating and maintaining white supremacy. Hence, structural and institutional racism continue to disproportionately segregate individuals based on their race, which prevents the minority groups like African Americans from accessing various economic opportunities and upward mobility; this makes it challenging for African Americans to secure quality healthcare, housing, jobs, education, and fair treatment from the criminal justice system (Wiecek, 2011).

In conclusion, a major social justice problem in the US is the discrimination that African Americans are subjected to. Compared to white people, African Americans tend to be oppressed and be mistreated in various contexts such as being denied equal opportunities to access social services. This is a trend that has been witnessed in the country since black people were brought into the US as slaves. However, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a major turning point in this regard because it legally prohibited the discrimination of people based on their ethnicity or race. This Act has enabled African Americans access to various opportunities that they could not dream of in the past. Nevertheless, there is a need to deal with institutional and structural racism to ensure African Americans have greater access to these opportunities.


Aiken, J. R., Salmon, E. D., & Hanges, P. J. (2013). The origins and legacy of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Journal of Business and Psychology, 28(4), 383-399.

Hersch, J., & Shinall, J. B. (2015). Fifty years later: The legacy of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 34(2), 424-456.

Wiecek, W. M. (2011). Structural racism and the law in America today: an introduction. Ky. LJ, 100, 1.


Policy Analysis

Patrice Scope

Capella University

Social Welfare History Policy Practice/SWK5002


Policy Analysis

Racial discrimination of African Americans dates back over a century ago and continues to be a persistent social problem in the United States. Since the arrival of the first Africans during the slave trade to America’s civil war, African Americans have been denied social, economic, and political freedom. They have been subjected to police brutality, segregation, lynching, and other forms of discrimination that continue to be reflected in socioeconomic inequalities. However, lobby and advocacy campaigns by civil rights groups have caused the federal government to formulate and enact policies that outlaw racial discrimination in the US. The civil rights act of 1964 males it illegal to discriminate based on sex, race, colour, religion, and national origin. This paper analyzes the development of the policy and its impact in addressing discrimination against African Americans.

Background and Development of the Policy

After the civil war, three constitutional amendments were made in favor of African Americans. The 13th amendment put an end to slavery, while the 14th amendment allowed citizenship to all individuals born and naturalized in the US and assured equal protection to all citizens. The granting of citizenship included former enslaved African Americas. The 15th amendment gave African American men the right to vote after the civil war. Despite these amendments, most of the States used well-curated measures to deprive African American citizens of the right to vote. These States, especially in the south, enforced racial discrimination through legislation that encouraged perpetrating violence against blacks by white supremacists. In 1957 the US Congress founded a tribunal consisting of members of the justice department and a civil rights commission to investigate discrimination cases.

Later, the massive southern resistance against desegregation led to the proposal for a civil rights bill that would protect African Americans. In 1961 when John F. Kennedy was inaugurated, he stalled the proposed anti-discrimination measures. It was not until the full-blown protests in the south when he decided to act. JF Kennedy proposed more comprehensive civil rights policies until his assassination when president Lyndon B. Johnson picked up his vision. Despite many attempts to sabotage the civil rights bill, Lyndon B. Johnson signed it into law on 2nd July 1964 (Hersch & Shinall, 2015). This was following a 73-27 vote in favour of the bill. In the subsequent years, Congress amended the act and enacted additional civil rights laws.

Evaluating the policy’s Effectiveness and Feasibility

The civil rights ct of 1964 accelerated the end of Jim Crow laws. It is regarded as one of the greatest accomplishments of civil rights movements. African Americans could have equal access to public facilities such as restaurants, hotels, and theatres (Hersch & Shinall, 2015). Blacks, women, and other minority groups could break set barriers and achieve their full potential in the workplace. Furthermore, many southern and northern African Americans got access to equal education by attending integrated schools, following the act’s enforcement. The expansion of this act gave forth the voting rights act of 1965 and the civil rights act of 1965 that provided protection on voting, housing, and racially motivated violence. The act also ended economic inequalities perpetuated by exclusion and racial discrimination. Notably, the civil rights act provided a benchmark and inspiration for other groups seeking equality. It has given forth to movements advocating for women’s rights and an end of discrimination due to disability.

The civil rights act of 1965 is still relevant today. Title VII of the act prohibits discrimination by employers based on colour, sex, race, origin, and religion. US equal employment opportunity agencies have used this section of the civil rights act to investigate cases of discrimination and violation of employee rights. The title has been expanded over the years to cover the plight of immigrant workers in the US. Besides, disparities are still observable in areas such as the education sector, where black students are more likely to face suspension than their white counterparts (Walker, 2015). There are also opportunity gaps leading to high socioeconomic gaps between Africa Americas and whites. Even though the powers given to the enforcing authority were weak initially, heightened enforcement has taken place over the years to bring social justice to all Americans.

Policy Constraints

The civil rights act of 1964 faced various challenges, making it impossible to end the discrimination subjected to African Americans entirely. The act opened accommodation for blacks but did not mean that their living conditions would change. This is because the act only outlawed discrimination, but its enforcement, especially in objecting states, was weak. For instance, white supremacists groups used poll taxes and literary tests to disenfranchise African Americans. Southern states enacted the “black codes” to govern blacks and deny them fundamental rights. These codes ensured that African Americans provided cheap labor despite the abolition of the slave trade. The weak enforcement saw African Americans make minimal improvement in their social-economic status. Instead, white supremacists made political and economic gains, increasing the gap between blacks and whites.


Hersch, J., & Shinall, J. B. (2015). Fifty years later: The legacy of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 34(2), 424-456.

Walker, V. S. (2015). School" Outer-gration" and" Tokenism": Segregated Black Educators Critique the Promise of Education Reform in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Journal of Negro Education84(2).