Center on Race and Social Problems

A National Study of Minority and Women Business Contracting

Principal Investigator(s): 
June 1, 2006 to May 1, 2008
Funded by: 
The National Dream Fund—The Ford Foundation, Marguerite Casey Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Open Society Institute, and the Falk Foundation.

The main goals of this project are to: 1) stop actions by local government officials that exclude qualified minority and women business enterprises (M/WBEs) from prime contracts; and 2) get local government to adopt and implement affirmative action policies and practices that will increase prime contracts with these firms. In this project we will focus on three large local governments, such as central city, county, and school district governments, in each of two large urban areas, such as Boston and Chicago. The specific goals are:

  • Conduct research that develops knowledge about current rates of local government prime contracts with M/WBEs, actions by local government officials that deny equal opportunity to M/WBEs and result in low levels of prime contracts with M/WBEs, and affirmative action programs to remedy past and present discrimination in local government contracting.
  • Build relationships between the researchers and local government in order to increase understanding of discriminatory barriers and encourage local government adoption of affirmative action programs.
  • Build relationships between the researchers and community and legal activists and advocates in order to develop local political and legal strategies to get reluctant local governments to change policies and practices.