George Floyd Scholarship For Black Students Is 'Wrong & Unlawful': Lawsuit

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A university scholarship created in honor of George Floyd for Black students has spurred a federal civil rights lawsuit.

On Monday (March 25), the legal complaint was filed with the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights by the watchdog group the Equal Protection Project of the Legal Insurrection Foundation, per the College Fix.

The group claims that the George Floyd Memorial Scholarship at Minnesota's North Central University violates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 because it's only open to Black students. According to their complaint, the university scholarship "engages in invidious discrimination on the basis of race, color and national origin."

The George Floyd Memorial Scholarship was formed in June 2020 "to invest like never before in a new generation of young black Americans, who are poised and ready to take leadership in our nation," North Central University President Scott Hagan said at the time. The qualifications for the scholarship include being "a student who is Black or African American, that is, a person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa," according to its information page.

"The George Floyd Scholarship eligibility requirements are openly racially discriminatory," Equal Protection founder William Jacobson said in a statement. "Regardless of the purpose of the racial discrimination, it is wrong and unlawful."

"NCU needs to come up with a remedial plan to compensate students shut out of the George Floyd Scholarship due to discrimination," Jacobson added.

The Equal Protection Project further alleges that the university is defying "the civil rights protections of Minnesota’s Human Rights Act, which makes it a criminal offense for an educational institution to limit access to any educational program on the basis of race," per the complaint.

Jacobson said the Supreme Court's move to reverse affirmative action last year made it "clear that discriminating on the basis of race to achieve diversity is not lawful."

"As Chief Justice Roberts wrote in the majority opinion, ‘[e]liminating racial discrimination means eliminating all of it,'" he added. "NCU knows better than to run educational scholarships that exclude students based on race. NCU’s nondiscrimination policies absolutely forbid racial discrimination. Why isn’t NCU living up to its own rules?"

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