Segregated Providence (RI) Teacher Event Open Only to “Educators of Color” Challenged By Legal Insurrection Foundation
After our letter warning the event violated state public accommodations laws and Fox News coverage, the District changed the location of the event and the sign up form was changed to list “white” as a category for registration.
The Providence Public School District (PPSD) has an overly aggressive Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) program that uses legally questionable practices.
We already wrote about the new teacher loan forgiveness program open only to non-white teachers,Providence (RI) Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program Only Open To Non-Whites Challenged By Legal Insurrection Foundation:
The Providence, Rhode Island, Public School District has a loan forgiveness program for new and recently hired teachers, funded by the Rhode Island Foundation, the largest charity in the state. There’s a catch, however. Whites need not apply, it’s only open to non-whites.
Legal Insurrection Foundation has filed a challenge to this overtly racist and discriminatory program, after a 6-month investigation that included obtaining information from public sources and also from records obtained by LIF pursuant to the Rhode Island Access to Public Records Act.
You can read the full Complaint.
We have received multiple tips about problems with equity racism in PPSD, including an “Educators of Color Meet Up” organized by PPSD at an outside venue that was promoted as being for non-white educators, who were the only people invited, and the event registration form had only non-white races and ethnicities listed.
Fox News covered the story, Providence Public Schools accused of discriminating against White teachers in radical equity agenda:
A non-profit called Legal Insurrection Foundation (LIF) on Tuesday sent a letter to the Nelson Event Center, located in Cranston, Rhode Island, to put them on notice for hosting a “racially discriminatory” event that was planned by the PPSD.
LIF President William A. Jacobson sent Fox News Digital a statement regarding the letter being sent.
“PPSD is so obsessed with its Equity agenda that it has crossed legal lines, engaging in open discrimination against white teachers. We saw open discrimination in the new teacher loan forgiveness program, open only to non-whites. Even though we filed a federal civil rights complaint against the loan program discrimination, PPSD is undeterred. Now PPSD is organizing and promoting segregationist teacher affinity programming,” Jacobson said.
“PPSD appears to think it is immune to the anti-discrimination laws that apply to everyone else,” he added….
“The anti-discrimination laws apply regardless of which race or ethnicity is victimized. Events that discriminate against whites are just as unlawful as events that discriminate against non-whites. Because the Event was promoted as a segregated event, the discriminatory taint cannot be wiped away,” the letter states.
You can read the full letter here. Here is the text:
I write on behalf of the Legal Insurrection Foundation (“LIF”), a Rhode Island tax-exempt non-profit that, among other things, seeks to ensure equal protection and non-discrimination in education, and that opposes racial discrimination in America’s schools.
On Thursday, January 19, 2023, between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., The Nelson Event Center at Lang’s Bowlerama (“NEC”) is scheduled to be the venue for an event titled “PPSD Educator of Color Meetup” (the “Event”), organized and sponsored by the Providence Public School District (“PPSD”). The event poster (Exhibit A) indicates that the Event is for “PPSD Educators of Color,” and the registration form (Exhibit B – https://archive.is/CV7ud) indicates that the purpose of the Event is “to bring Educators of Color together” (emphasis in original) and that “[w]e are inviting Educators of Color” to the event.
By its own terms – a Meet Up for “Educators of Color” with only Educators of Color invited – the Event has been promoted as racially exclusionary. Only non-whites have been invited, and the registration form contains a checklist of only non-white categories for attendees to use in self-identifying their race and ethnicity. The Event has been promoted by the PPSD on Facebook (https://archive.is/Cc1kH), PPSD’s website (https://archive.is/dKPJF), and internally using racially discriminatory terminology.
The purpose of this letter is to put NEC on notice of the racially discriminatory nature of the Event, since the event is taking place at NEC’s facility. Under clear Rhode Island and federal law, it is unlawful for a place of “public accommodation,” such as NEC, to discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity. See Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000a(a), and Rhode Island Gen. Law § 11-24-2. While NEC does not appear to have organized the Event and may not have understood the discriminatory way in which the Event was promoted by PPSD when NEC agreed to provide the venue for the Event, by permitting its facility to be used for the Event, NEC’s legal non-discrimination obligations are implicated as a matter of law.
The anti-discrimination laws apply regardless of which race or ethnicity is victimized. Events that discriminate against whites are just as unlawful as events that discriminate against non-whites. Because the Event was promoted as a segregated event, the discriminatory taint cannot be wiped away.
Further, government-sponsored programs that discriminate on the basis of race are not only unconstitutional, but also offend state and federal civil rights statutes. By providing the venue for a known racially segregated program, NEC potentially could be held jointly liable for any such violations.
While it is profoundly distressing that a government entity like PPSD would engage in apparent racial discrimination, it is especially troubling that it wishes to do so just days after a federal holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose life was dedicated to the ideal of non-discrimination and racial healing.
We thank you for your attention to this letter, and we trust that you will be guided by the legal and moral demands for non-discrimination in a place of public accommodation.
Here were the Exhibits referenced in the letter:
All of the above was screenshotted and archived (see letter for archived links).
PPSD Changes Sign Up Form To Add “White”
After receipt of our letter yesterday and after Fox News had reached out for comment to PPSD (and right around when the Fox News article published), PPSD published a new Facebook post for the event changing the location:
And significantly, adding “white” to the category of people on the sign up form (https://archive.is/nKRUH):Opening the event registration form to whites is a good first step, but the event still is billed as being only for “Educators of Color.” DONATE
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