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Reuters: Equal Protection Project At Center Of Fight To Eliminate Racial Preferences in Higher Ed

Reuters: Equal Protection Project At Center Of Fight To Eliminate Racial Preferences in Higher Ed

“A non-profit group opposing race-based education policies has filed more than a dozen U.S. civil rights complaints this year against universities, challenging the legality of offering minority scholarships, summer study and residency programs to promote racial diversity…. Jacobson said any program contingent on race is unlawful.”

The civil rights complaint by the Equal Protection Project ( of the Legal Insurrection Foundatoin regarding two racially-discriminatory scholarships at Western Kentucky University has spread widely in the media, including initial coverage at The Chronicle of Higher Education, Fox News, and the Daily Caller.

The coverage has continued to expand with an article at Reuters, which has been syndicated in several dozen other news outlets, putting EPP at the center of the movement to remove racially-discriminatory university policies, Anti-affirmative action group, emboldened by US Supreme Court, targets scholarships:

Here is an excerpt:

A non-profit group opposing race-based education policies has filed more than a dozen U.S. civil rights complaints this year against universities, challenging the legality of offering minority scholarships, summer study and residency programs to promote racial diversity.

The challenges are part of a growing campaign against diversity initiatives after a U.S. Supreme Court landmark ruling in June outlawed use of race in college admissions, commonly known as affirmative action. Conservative activists say the decision should extend to all educational programs, and some groups have also challenged corporate diversity policies.

The Equal Protection Project of the Legal Insurrection Foundation, headed by Cornell University clinical law professor William Jacobson, filed the complaints with the U.S. Department of Education’s civil rights office.

The latest complaint, filed last week, accused Western Kentucky University of violating civil rights law by offering two scholarships – one for undergraduate students and one for graduate students – available only to minority applicants. The university did not respond to a request for comment.

Other targets include a minority scholarship at Kansas State University and a residency program for Black filmmakers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

In an interview, Jacobson said the education department has asked the group for more information but has not indicated whether it will launch formal investigations. A departmental spokesperson said the office for civil rights does not discuss details of its cases.

Jacobson said any program contingent on race is unlawful.

“The typical response is, well, what’s wrong with wanting diversity?” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with that. But you can’t do it through racial discrimination, and the Supreme Court has been very clear about that.”

The central role of EPP also was the focus of the Chronicle of Higher Education article:

William A. Jacobson, a clinical professor of law at Cornell Law School, who founded the Equal Protection Project, has challenged many other programs this year that he believes are racially discriminatory at colleges, school systems, libraries, and other public institutions….

As he sees it, the Supreme Court’s admissions ruling should also apply to financial aid. He’s surprised that many colleges haven’t yet changed their scholarship programs. “We don’t see any meaningful distinction between admissions to the university and admissions to particular programs and educational opportunities,” he said….

Inside Higher Ed puts EPP at the center of the effort for race-neutral equality, along with Ed Blum of Students for Fair Admissions (which brought the Harvard case), A New Legal Blitz on Affirmative Action:

The Supreme Court’s June decision striking down race-conscious admissions may have been the most significant higher ed case in years, providing a concrete answer to questions that have spurred dozens of court cases since the 1990s. But it hardly put an end to the legal fight over affirmative action….

Other groups are also piggybacking on SFFA’s [Harvard] victory. Yesterday the conservative law firm Equal Protection Project filed a complaint with the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights against Western Kentucky University over two scholarships—the WKU Athletics Minority Fellowship and the WKU Distinguished Minority Fellowship—available only to students of color. Last month the same organization filed a complaint against the University of Nebraska at Lincoln over a residency program for Black filmmakers that the university hosts in partnership with a local nonprofit.

William Jacobson, EPP’s founding director and a law professor at Cornell University, said colleges should expect to be held accountable for complying with the ruling.

“I don’t view the Supreme Court ruling with the narrow focus of affirmative action in admissions, or even affirmative action in general; it’s an equal protection decision,” he said. “It would certainly be in colleges’ best interest to change their policies now if they aren’t already compliant … Whatever the challenges were that failed before the decision, if those practices are ongoing, I don’t see why they can’t be challenged anew.”

Other coverage of our Western Kentucky U complaint includes the Bowling Green [where WKU is located] Dailynews:

William Jacobsen, founder of EPP and law professor at Cornell University, said they received an anonymous tip regarding the scholarships which prompted the complaint.

“We don’t want to see Western Kentucky University punished, that’s not our goal,” Jacobsen said. “Our goal is to get them to change their behavior and to announce to the world that they’re no longer going to discriminate.”

Jacobsen said WKU should stop considering race across the board, issue a formal apology and examine if other programs are engaged in “discriminatory” practices….

Jacobsen said colleges should not take race into consideration for any decision. However, they may still reach out to minority institutions and communities or provide scholarships based on merit or financial need.

The EPP has lodged 15 complaints against universities and schools across the country since February, including Rhode Island’s Providence Public School District, the University of Minnesota and Missouri State University.

We learned of these discriminatory WKU programs through a tip we received. We are continuing to act on tips and to seek out opportunities to challenge discrimination done in the name of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. But we need your help. We are a small organization going up against powerful and wealthy government and private institutions devoted to DEI discrimination. Donations are greatly needed and appreciated.


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Please be careful, wise, gracious and kind. EPP is now a primary target so get ready for a fight. I will continue to pray for you. The work you are doing is right.

I have been following the affirmative action cases since before Sandra made her proclamation from on high:

“The court expects that 25 years from now the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary…,” she wrote for the majority.

Why would she think that? Was she correct? No.

This supposedly high-IQ justice doesn’t have a clue about evolutionary biology. Insofar as evolutionary pressures have been relieved by white technology, the IQ gap will never, ever be closed.

It doesn’t matter what the SC says. The college administrators will find some work-around, such as the ‘woe is me’ essays.

The only solution is for the state legislatures to demand and enforce blind admissions to their state universities. GPAs and SAT scores are put in a hopper and sorted, the top N get in, the rest are rejected.


    henrybowman in reply to not_a_lawyer. | September 24, 2023 at 4:03 am

    “evolutionary pressures have been relieved by white technology, the IQ gap will never, ever be closed.”

    The Court’s statement wasn’t made in the expectation of closing some IQ gap.
    It was made in the expectation that the effects of whatever real or imagined systemic racism was still present in government and society, long after destruction of Jim Crow, would be “lubricated away” by “encouraging” artificially targeted preferences for a period of 25 years or so. Once society “got used to” hiring/serving/accommodating blacks just like everybody else, the reasoning went, the preferences would no longer be necessary.

    If you look at it properly, federal Affirmative Action and Kendi’s Anti-Racism work from exactly the same premise: you have to discriminate against one class of mostly innocent people today in order to correct the damage done by having discriminated against another class of people (who are mostly all dead by now) long ago.

    The only real difference is that Kendi insisted that the “anti-racist” oppression was required to go on forever, whereas the Court said it shoulda oughta be repealed in 25 years MAYBE. Looked at that way, it’s almost no difference at all.

Booker T. Washington | September 24, 2023 at 3:13 am

“No greater injury can be done to any youth than to let him feel that because he belongs to this or that race he will be advanced in life regardless of his own merits or efforts.”

~Booker T. Washington (1911)

Frederick Douglass | September 24, 2023 at 3:21 am

“Everybody has asked the question. . .”What shall we do with the Negro?” I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are wormeaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! I am not for tying or fastening them on the tree in any way, except by nature’s plan, and if they will not stay there, let them fall. And if the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone!”

Fredrick Douglass (1817-1895)

I propose a very low cost, academic program for the study of IQ. It would be open only to blacks with an IQ over 140.

    not_a_lawyer in reply to E Howard Hunt. | September 24, 2023 at 6:58 pm

    Given that whites have a mean IQ of 100 and a standard deviation of 15, the probability of any particular white having an IQ of 140 or greater is 0.0038.

    Given that blacks have a mean IQ of 85 and a standard deviation of 15, the probability of any particular black having an IQ of 140 or greater is 0.0001.

    140 is way out on the right-end tail of the normal distribution.

    In all of my years and all of my travels, I have met only two people that I would believe have an IQ of 140 or above. Both of them extremely intelligent men.


Once you take away merit for college admissions, scholarships etc., what is left but discrimination based on race, sex, pretend sex, religion etc.

Merit is the ultimate equalizer. That’s why the socialist engineers of “equity” hate it so.

    I have come to the conclusion that the only qualification used for college admission nowadays is the perceived lemming-like qualities of the applicant. Not race, nor gender, nor merit, just whether the applicant can think for him/her/it self. If the answer to that is “yes”, the application is rejected.

The DEI practices, policies and programs implemented at many U.S. colleges and universities amount to institutional apartheid. The particular benefits that a student is entitled to receive depend on his or her race or ethnicity. This is contrary to equal protection of the law as mandated by the 14th Amendment. Thank goodness that EPP is confronting these practices.