St. Catherine University announced a $10,000 George Floyd scholarship available only to a “Black, Indigenous Person of Color (BIPOC) Student”. St. Catherine appears to have created the George Floyd scholarship for remedial purposes: to “address systemic disparities” and “racial disparities that are present in our world.” On April 21, 2022, FAIR Legal sent the University a letter expressing legal and ethical concerns about the scholarship. As established by the Supreme Court in J.A. Croson, Wygant, and Bakke, disparities in the world cannot legally justify remedial discrimination. FAIR supports universities like St. Catherine to offer scholarships based on economic need or other criteria unrelated to immutable traits. Under Title VI, however, it may not do so based on skin color or ancestry. We urged the university to open the scholarship to any deserving student without regard to their immutable traits and demonstrate St. Catherine’s commitment to non-discrimination and equal access.
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