Only African Americans Are Eligible
AUSTIN, Texas, July 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Consovoy McCarthy PLLC sent letters on behalf of the Project on Fair Representation (POFR) to Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, North Carolina and ITW Corporation domiciled in Glenview, Illinois warning them that the ITW Technical Fellowship Program is likely violating the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and other federal civil rights laws.
The letter notes that this fellowship program, while laudable, purposely excludes Hispanics, Asian Americans and whites. Currently, only African Americans are eligible for this program.
As highlighted in the letter, ITW and Central Piedmont Community College have created a fellowship program—the ITW Technical Fellowship Program—for students “pursuing a career path in Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Technology; Welding Technology; Automotive Systems Technology; or Electrical Systems Technology.” The fellowship laudably offers “fully funded tuition” and other training benefits to selected applicants.
The letter underscored that the fellowship program inexplicably refuses to consider students of certain races. The program requires that the student “[m]ust be Black/African American” to be eligible for the program. In other words, whites, Hispanics, Asians need not apply. Even worse, it appears that ITW has established this same unlawful program at other colleges throughout the nation.
Edward Blum, president of the Project on Fair Representation said, “This racial discrimination is patently illegal and must stop immediately. No one should be denied a fellowship or scholarship because of their race or ethnicity”
The letter reminds both the corporation and the public community college that the Equal Protection Clause prohibits the government from denying to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. As the Supreme Court has written, distinctions between citizens ‘solely because of their ancestry are by their very nature odious to a free people, and therefore are contrary to our traditions and hence constitutionally suspect.’
Blum concluded, “This program needs to be open to all students, regardless of their ethnic heritage or skin color. Excluding students from programs like this one because they are not the ‘right’ race or ethnicity is unfair, polarizing and illegal.”
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SOURCE The Project on Fair Representation