Following the death of George Floyd in May 2020, North Central University held a memorial service. During the ceremony, the Minneapolis, MN-based institution announced that it had created the George Floyd Memorial Scholarship, according to a news release. 

“It is time 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, Ph.D., said per the news release.

He added, “So, university presidents, let’s step up together.”

Hagan’s call to action for fellow college and university presidents to establish their own George Floyd Memorial Scholarship sparked a movement. Schools such as the University of Minnesota, University of Michigan, Ohio University, and more went on to create their own.

However, as the fourth anniversary of Floyd’s passing is coming up, North Central University’s scholarship in his remembrance is receiving pushback.

According to NBC News, on March 25 the Legal Insurrection Foundation, a conservative law and politics organization, filed a federal complaint against North Central University related to its George Floyd Memorial Scholarship. The foundation is accusing the university of violating Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

“No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance,” Title VI states, per the U.S. Department of Education.

The Legal Insurrection Foundation claims that since the George Floyd Memorial Scholarship requires applicants to be Black or African American, that it is showing “discrimination” against other groups.

“Discrimination against white applicants is just as unlawful as discrimination against black or other non-white applicants,” said civil rights attorney Ameer Benno and Cornell University law professor William Jacobson, who are behind the legal complaint, according to NBC News. “Regardless of NCU’s reasons for sponsoring and promoting the GFMS [scholarship], it is violating Title VI by doing so.”

As aforementioned, the George Floyd Memorial Scholarship was formed with the mission to champion future Black leaders. The outlet reports that despite the federal complain that’s been filed, North Central University is set to continue accepting applications for the scholarship for the 2024-25 school year.