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‘Offensive And Troubling’: Another University Hit With Civil Rights Complaint For Program Using Racial Preferences

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) received a civil rights allegation on Sunday over a program it runs for “black filmmakers, creative technologists and artists.”

“Black Public Media Residency” programwill launch in 2022 in partnership with local nonprofits to solicit submissions for projects that “people of African descent are in key creative positions.” according to Go to the FAQ section of the program. The Legal Riot Foundation’s Equal Protection Project asked the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights on Sunday to investigate programs that are “blatantly discriminatory.”

The complaint alleges that the university’s “establishment, continued sponsorship, and active promotion” violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“While it has been clear in law for decades that racism in education is illegal, following the Harvard Supreme Court ruling, universities will take race into consideration in furthering their diversity goals. There is no doubt that it may not even be possible,” said William A. Jacobson, a Cornell University law professor and founder of, in a statement. “But that’s exactly what the University of Nebraska-Lincoln program is doing, reserving slots on program teams to black students to promote diversity, disadvantage other students, and create opportunities. We are reducing it.” (Related: Medical school slammed in civil rights lawsuit over racial ‘preferences’ in precollege programs)

Affirmative Action supporters hold placards during a protest at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts on July 1, 2023. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso / AFP) (Photo by JOSEPH PREZIOSO / AFP via Getty Images)

Jacobson said the way the program made students “complicit” in discrimination was “offensive and problematic.”

“The racism in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln program is particularly egregious because it requires student teams to be organized around race, and one team member must be black,” he said. rice field. “This puts students in a position to choose among their peers by focusing on their race.”

The Equal Protection Project previously filed complaints against two precollege medical programs and the State University of New York at Buffalo that “explicitly prioritize admissions based on race and color.” law Undergraduate summer programs also claim preferential treatment based on skin color.

UNL did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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