U. of Michigan Prof: Harvard Hosting Music Program Open Only to ‘ BIPOC Students’ Violates Federal Law

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

A professor at the University of Michigan-Flint says that Harvard University hosting a music program open to “all BIPOC students” is a Title VI violation.

University of Michigan-Flint professor Mark Perry filed a Title VI complaint on Tuesday with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, over an upcoming program on Harvard’s campus that will require applicants to disclose their race, according to a report by Campus Reform.

The program, titled, “No Label Academy at Harvard,” is a “music business” course that will be hosted by rapper IDK, and will take place at Harvard in August.

The course is “open to all BIPOC individuals interested in music business,” and is designed to build “a pipeline for BIPOC talent to kickstart their music careers,” according to the program’s website.

Those who apply are required to disclose their “racial or ethnic group,” and all expenses will be paid for those who are admitted to take the course, reports Campus Reform.

Professor Perry, however, believes that Harvard has likely committed a Title VI violation, as Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on race under any program that receives federal funding.

“In violation of Title VI, this program discriminates on the basis of skin color by operating exclusively for BIPOC individuals only and illegally excluding and discriminating against non-BIPOC individuals on the basis of skin color,” states Perry’s Title VI complaint against Harvard.

The professor told Campus Reform that “in some cases like this, a university might claim that they are merely renting space on its campus to a discriminatory group or program, but they are not affiliated with the program or endorsing it.”

“In this case, I don’t think Harvard can make that claim as I tried to emphasize in my complaint,” Perry continued “Harvard should be considered a partner because the program name is ‘No Label Academy at Harvard’ and a Harvard faculty member is serving as an adviser to the program.”

“Therefore, Harvard should be held accountable as being complicit with the discriminatory practices of an outside group that is using Harvard’s name, its campus, its academic reputation, and its faculty to promote a program that violates Title VI,” the professor said.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

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