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A Conservative Group Has Filed A Lawsuit Against MIT For Its Women Of Color Program, Claims It's Discriminatory

A lawsuit has been filed against the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The Equal Protection Project, which is under the Legal Insurrection Foundation, is suing MIT for its program supporting women of color, CRWN ( The Creative Regal Women of kNowledge), according to Boston.com. The nonprofit claims that the program is exclusionary, discriminatory, and violates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 because “only undergraduate ‘women of color’ can participate in the program.” “We bring this civil rights complaint against the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for creating, supporting and promoting a program for undergraduate students — called the Creative Regal Women of Knowledge, or ‘The CRWN’ — that engages in invidious discrimination on the basis of race, color and sex,” foundation founder William A. Jacobson wrote in the complaint, per the outlet. In a follow-up statement, he added. “It is sad and disheartening to...

Ngozi Nwanji

May 23, 2024

Colorado Governor Signs One Of The First US Bills To Regulate AI And Prevent Algorithmic Discrimination

Colorado is taking a stand to regulate artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace. On May 8, 2024, the Colorado General Assembly passed Senate Bill 24-205 (SB205), Forbes reports. In the bill’s summary, it wrote that it “requires a developer of a high-risk artificial intelligence system (high-risk system) to use reasonable care to avoid algorithmic discrimination in the high-risk system.” Moreover, the bill described high-risk artificial intelligence systems as any machine-based system that plays a role in consequential decisions being made in education enrollment and education opportunities, employment and employment opportunities, financial and lending services, essential government services, healthcare services, housing, insurance, or legal services. According to Forbes, the bill marks Colorado as the first U.S. state to establish a comprehensive law that not only addresses utilizing AI in employment but also in other critical sectors. On May 17, Governor of Colorado Jared...

Ngozi Nwanji

May 20, 2024

Al Roker's Production Company Sued For Allegedly Failing To Adhere To A Mandated DEI Policy

Al Roker and his production company, Al Roker Entertainment, have been sued for allegedly not following through with a commitment to diversity. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bill Schultz filed a lawsuit against the “Today” host and CEO’s company as he claims that executives failed to commit to its DEI initiative, which would bring Black writers on board for PBS’s “Weather Hunters.” Al Roker Entertainment is the owner of the animated children’s show. As an executive producer for “Weather Hunters,” Schultz addressed the issue at hand, confronting the leaders about the failure to adhere to the diversity program, which is mandated by PBS. However, he says that their response was firing him. In addition, a Black producer was also reprimanded for speaking up. “I put nine years of my career into ‘ Weather Hunters ,’ a project I strongly believe in, with the goal of making a wonderfully crafted show for children to enjoy and learn from,” Schultz shared in a statement, according to...

Ngozi Nwanji

Apr 19, 2024

UNC System Board Of Governors' Committee Approves A Policy That Would Essentially Eliminate DEI Jobs At Public Universities Across North Carolina

A new move made by a group of education officials in North Carolina has the power to do a state-wide sweep of programs committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at public universities. According to The News & Observer, the University of North Carolina System Board of Governors’ University Governance Committee has approved “a policy that repeals the university system’s existing policy and regulation on diversity and inclusion.” The move will reportedly disband laws in place requiring all 17 public campuses within the state of North Carolina to employ diversity officers as well as drive efforts toward a common goal of fulfilling diversity-related measures. A University of North Carolina System Board of Governors committee voted in favor of policy that would eliminate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion jobs at NC public universities. There was no discussion. https://t.co/9xQvXJFFG8 — philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) April 18, 2024 Per the Raleigh, NC-based outlet, the committee held...

Shanique Yates

Apr 18, 2024

Doctors Suggest That A Proposed Bill To Ban DEI At Medical Schools Could Affect Progress For The Black Maternal Health Crisis

The implementation of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at medical schools is currently in danger. In March 2024, Congressman Greg Murphy (R-NC) introduced the Embracing anti-Discrimination, Unbiased Curricula, and Advancing Truth in Education (EDUCATE) Act. The proposed bill aims to prohibit race-based mandates at medical schools and accrediting institutions, per a news release. In addition, it would stop federal funding to medical schools that “discriminate” against races and ethnicities, have DEI offices, and “force” students and school faculty to assimilate to particular beliefs. “American medical schools are the best in the world and no place for discrimination,” Murphy shared in a statement. “The EDUCATE Act compels medical schools and accrediting agencies to uphold colorblind admissions processes and prohibits the coercion of students who hold certain political opinions. Diversity strengthens medicine, but not if it’s achieved through exclusionary practices. Medicine is...

Ngozi Nwanji

Apr 17, 2024

Duke University Has Officially Ended Its Full-Ride Scholarship For Black Students In Need Of Financial Assistance

Duke University is the latest higher educational institute to make changes following the 2023 Supreme Court ruling that ended affirmative action in admissions. According to its student publication The Chronicle, the North Carolina college has officially discontinued its Reginaldo Howard Memorial Scholarship Program. Since its inception in 1979, the merit scholarship was created for Black undergraduates, some of whom were required to demonstrate the need for financial assistance. It covered the cost of full tuition as well as room and board for those who were selected to be a part of the program. Duke University announced it is ending a full-ride scholarship program for Black students in the wake of the Supreme Court’s affirmative action ruling https://t.co/dNK2Rst99y — philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) April 12, 2024 “It is very much disheartening to hear that this program that opened the door for me to come to Duke is now being closed essentially, even though it will take on a new form,”...

Shanique Yates

Apr 12, 2024

Does Terrence Howard’s Lawsuit Against CAA Provide Further Insight On A Deeper Equity Issue Plaguing Hollywood?

In 2015, film and television producers Lee Daniels and Danny Strong debuted the critically acclaimed television series, “Empire,” starring actors Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard. As characters, they portrayed a complicated couple attempting to navigate the duality of family and business. Each week, viewers were engrossed in the drama of this fictitious musical dynasty, but behind the scenes everything wasn’t as glamorous as it seemed. Howard has been in a legal battle over his salary from the show since December 2023. According to a previous post from AFROTECH™, the “Hustle & Flow” actor claims he received up to 50% less than what his white counterparts would have made in a starring role similar to “Empire’s” music mogul character Luscious Lyon. Terrence Howard’s Complaints Based on the lawsuit documents filed against the Creative Artist Agency (CAA), the complaint alleges that Howard was unaware of the fees and conflict of interest the agency would impose. Additionally, after...

Josh Rodgers

Apr 10, 2024

Terrence Howard Claims He's Owed $120M From The CAA 'Based On What Would've Been Paid To White Counterparts'

Terrence Howard is set on pushing forward with a legal battle regarding his Hollywood earnings. As previously shared by AFROTECH™, the Oscar-nominated actor filed a lawsuit against the Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in December 2023. Howard claims that the agency prompted him to accept talent fees that were less than what he should’ve received. For starring in the hit TV series, “Empire,” he allegedly earned 30% to 50% less than what he should have earned per episode. “We expect our agents and our lawyers to look after us, and therefore we’re free to do all of the work that you guys enjoy so much,” Howard expressed during a press conference that year. “I trusted CAA to look after me, and they looked after themselves.” During the press conference, Howard noted that he wasn’t entirely certain that the lowball pay was due to a “racial issue.” However, now, he has come forward to not only further address the elephant in the room but also detail what he believes he’s owed. In an interview...

Ngozi Nwanji

Apr 9, 2024

How Sephora, Coach, Zara And More Plan To Tackle Racially Biased Experiences

To foster inviting settings and decrease racially-biased experiences for shoppers, U.S. retailers have linked up. According to a press release sent to AfroTech, the nonprofit Open to All has announced that 28 major retail brands have signed the Mitigate Racial Bias in Retail Charter. What this means is that signees have committed to integrating actions that work to dismantle racially biased interactions while creating a friendly atmosphere for shoppers.

Samantha Dorisca

May 18, 2022

Telecom Company To Pay $70M After Isolating Black Employees Into Separate Rooms With Cameras And More

A Texas telecom company just lost a $70 million federal discrimination lawsuit. Atlanta Black Star reports that Glow Networks Inc. and its parent company, CSS Corp, exposed nine Black employees — and one white employee who advocated on behalf of his Black co-workers — to what can only be summarized as a hostile work environment tinged with more than a bit of racism. And based on the facts of the case, that’s the height of understatement. “Court documents reveal there were originally fourteen members in the group suing Glow Networks, Inc., alleging that they had ‘both tangible actions, such as terminations and denials of promotions, and on the alleged creation of a hostile work environment,'” reports the outlet. Initially, fourteen employees brought the federal discrimination suit against the telecom company. However, only ten employees ultimately were awarded damages — the other four’s claims were dismissed by the court. For Yarbrough, though, it was the principle of the matter. “We...

Black Houston Doctor Files Lawsuit After JPMorgan Chase Bank Refuses To Deposit $16,000 Check

A sign-on bonus from a job is always a win. However, for one Black Houston doctor, her moment of victory was swiftly taken away due to discriminatory practices. ABC13 reports that Dr. Malika Mitchell-Stewart had recently completed her residency before securing a position at Valley Oaks Medical Group. The Black Houston doctor was subsequently awarded a $16,000 check from her newly acquired position. Dr. Malika Mitchell-Stewart then went to JPMorgan Chase Bank at First Colony Branch in Sugar Land to deposit her new earnings. Unfortunately, her celebration was cut short. According to a lawsuit, staff members at JPMorgan Chase began to ask Dr. Malika Mitchell-Stewart unwarranted questions pertaining to her check and position as a doctor, ABC13 reports. Dr. Stewart describes feeling like a criminal after showing her check. JPMorgan Chase ultimately led with a decision to refuse Dr. Stewart’s service and declared the check fraudulent. Stewart believes she was targeted due to the color of...

Samantha Dorisca

Feb 4, 2022

Report Finds Black Women Need To Work Until They Are 83 To Make What White Men Make By 60

Black women working full-time make nearly $1 million less than white men during their careers, the National Women’s Law Center recently shared in a research report. While the wage gap affects all women, it arguably affects Black women the most since they face race and gender discrimination. Black women, on average, are currently paid 63 cents for every dollar that White men make. That amounts to a loss of $2,009 a month, $24,110 a year, and $964,400 over 40 years for Black women. This stark reality is why Aug. 3 is marked Black Women’s Equal Pay Day every year, which signifies the extra 214 days Black women would need to work each year to catch up to white men’s salaries. Put it this way; Black women will have to work until they are 83-years-old to reach the salaries white men make at age 60. “I don’t think it’s talked about as much as it should be,” Tiffany Williams, a business and marketing strategist, told AfroTech. “The wage gap is so prominent because there’s a lack of...

Michelai Graham

Aug 27, 2021

How Housing Discrimination Continues to Impact Marginalized Groups in the U.S.

As the U.S. housing market rebounds from a pandemic-related slowdown, there is still evidence of housing discrimination that continues to limit homeownership and rental opportunities for consumers of color and other marginalized groups. It’s necessary to take stock of how far housing policy has gone to outlaw discriminatory practices, and what work remains to be finished. What is housing discrimination? The Fair Housing Act of 1968 explained What is redlining in real estate? 3 ways to strengthen U.S. housing discrimination laws What is housing discrimination? Housing discrimination is any prejudiced actions against a consumer who is buying a home , renting a home or attempting to participate in other housing-related endeavors. Discrimination can be based on the following characteristics: Color or race Disability Familial status Nationality Religion Sex People who identify as LGBTQ aren’t explicitly protected by federal law from housing discrimination. However, several states have...

Lending Tree

Aug 6, 2020

Judge Orders Mo'Nique's Discrimination Lawsuit Against Netflix to Move Forward

Comedian and actress Mo’Nique gains the upper hand in her lawsuit against streaming giant Netflix as a judge allows her case to proceed. According to USA Today , Mo’Nique earned a major win in her race and gender discrimination lawsuit this week after a federal court ruled that she “plausibly” claimed the streaming platform illegally retaliated against her after rejecting a “lowball” offer to do a comedy special. The decision, ruled by U.S. District Judge André Birotte Jr., noted that the comedian raised a “novel theory” after arguing that Netflix’s alleged failure to re-negotiate an “opening offer” — as standard protocol in the industry — constitutes an “adverse employment action,” USA Today reports . “…Regardless of whether plaintiff will ultimately prevail on (her) claims, dismissing this case under Rule 12(b)(6) is not appropriate,” the judge revealed in his decision. “Plaintiff’s complaint may raise a novel issue, but that does not justify dismissing it at this stage.”...

Njera Perkins

Jul 17, 2020

Black Influencers and POC Call Out the Industry's Racist and Sexist Ways

Social media has been a game-changer for many influencers, especially as platforms like TikTok and Instagram see a major surge in users. The internet has become a place for people in the creative industry to make a name for themselves, but for Black influencers, they still struggle against the gatekeepers of advertising who are responsible for paying these creatives for their work. Ethnicity pay gaps aren’t a new notion, but more recently, Black influencers and people of color have pushed back against the industry to call out their racist and sexist ways. In addition to the ethnicity pay gap, Black influencers are even being stripped away from their credits for creating trends that are ultimately stolen by their white counterparts to benefit from. TikTok was recently accused of trying to create an “aspirational air” for their platform by allegedly configuring the app to hide content from people who appeared to be “ugly, poor or disabled users,” according to the Guardian. While it is...

Njera Perkins

Apr 15, 2020