Phi Beta Cons

Center for Individual Rights Challenges Racially Exclusive Program

            The Chronicle of Higher Education has a story today on a lawsuit that will be filed by the Center for Individual Rights against a racially exclusive summer journalism program being run by Virginia Commonwealth University, the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund, and the publisher of the Richmond Times Dispatch  [subscription only]  As the article notes, schools have generally been changing racially exclusive programs like this so that they are open to all races, under pressure from groups like the Center for Equal Opportunity and the American Civil Rights Institute, not to mention the Bush administration’s Departments of Education and Justice.  But some of the schools just haven’t gotten the message—or, apparently, read the Supreme Court’s 2003 University of Michigan decisions, which make clear that such a heavy-handed use of race is illegal.  And, so, as CIR head Terry Pell says, a lawsuit is “the logical next step.”  Nothing like a seeing a colleague dragged into court to get an educator’s attention, and here’s hoping that anyone reading the Chronicle story, who is aware of such programs at his or her school, will clip it and send it to the university general counsel.


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