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art by Favianna Rodriguez

Art by Favianna Rodriguez

“ Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ” – Paulo Freire, Educator

Top 6 Executive Orders in History

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Throughout history, presidents have stepped up to take executive actions on critical issues facing our country--especially when those facing oppression needed intervention and relief.

Today there are literally thousands of students facing deportation from the only home they have ever known because the DREAM Act still isn't law. DREAMers were brought into the U.S. as children and who grew up here. The DREAM Act would open up a path for citizenship to these these young people.

President Obama has the power to help them--all he has to do is issue an executive order to halt their deportation until the DREAM Act is passed. Take a read, sign our petition, and share with your friends!

6. Equal Employment Opportunity
At the height of the Civil Rights Movement, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Executive Order 11246 which bars discrimination in federal employment because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. [1]

5. Affirmative Action
On March 6, 1961 President John F. Kennedy issued Executive Order 10925, which included a provision that government contractors "take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin." [2]

4. Works Progress Administration
In 1935, at the height of the Great Depression, FDR used Executive Order number 7034 to create the Works Progress Administration, which put more than 8.5 million Americans back to work rebuilding the country one bridge, road, and mural at a time. [3]

3. Desegregation of Schools
In 1954 the Supreme Court decided Brown vs. Board of Education. But it would take much more than a court order to end school segregation, as the nation saw in 1957 when Arkansas Governor Orville Faubus refused to comply. Dwight D. Eisenhower'S EO 10730 placed the Arkansas National Guard under Federal control and sent in U.S. army troops to ensure that nine black children could safely attend Little Rock High School. [4]

2. The Emancipation Proclamation.
Need we say more? The Proclamation freed all slaves living in the Confederacy, though left out the border states of Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, Delaware, and West Virginia, which had yet to secede. [5]

1. The end of DREAMer deportations.
Yes, we know. This one hasn't happened yet. But we fervently believe that the President can follow in the footsteps of his Presidential predecessors. And that's the thing about history--it keeps getting rewritten with every new day!

Click here to join our movement to end DREAMer deportation!

1. "Executive Order 11246," US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, accessed 5/19/11, http://1.usa.gov/ijvTTO
2. "A Brief History of Affirmative Action," UC Irvine Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, accessed 5/19/11, http://bit.ly/kwZQUV
3. "Franklin D. Roosevelt: Executive Order 7034," The American Presidency Project, accessed 5/19/11, http://bit.ly/kEaF20M
4. "Executive Orders Disposition Tables: Dwight D. Eisenhower - 1957," National Archives & Records Administration, accessed 5/19/11, http://1.usa.gov/m1clJX
5. "The Emancipation Proclamation," National Archives & Records Administration, accessed 5/19/11, http://1.usa.gov/mqyFp7