The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) opened an investigation into American University’s “black affinity” sections of their mandatory first-year course, following investigative reporting by Young America’s Foundation.
Last summer, YAF reported on a new “black affinity” section of their first-year student course, created as a “safe space” for black students to avoid having to “divulge their trauma” to their non-black peers.
In coordination with YAF, Professor Mark Perry at the University of Michigan-Flint filed a Title VI complaint with the DC Office for Civil Rights.
On January 5, 2022, Dr. Perry was notified that “Because OCR determined that it has jurisdiction and that the complaint was timely filed, OCR is opening the complaint for investigation.”
Shortly thereafter, on January 10, Dr. Perry noticed that “the previous Black-only Affinity sections of AUx2 are now no longer race-segregated and have apparently been converted to course sections that are open to all students without any restrictions or preferences,” he wrote in an email to members of AU’s campus newspaper.
“Previously the five sections below were clearly listed as “Black Affinity Sections,” but that restriction has recently been removed, I’m assuming as a direct result of the OCR investigation of AU for violating Title VI’s prohibition of discrimination on the basis of color and race.”
However, a current AU student revealed that despite the website’s change, the description on the school’s class registration service reflects that racial segregation may still be occurring within the course.
“AUx2 Black Affinity sections provide an intentional space dedicated to celebrating and affirming Black experiences and voices.”
Perry told YAF, “As much as we hear today about the supposed commitment to the holy trinity of leftist campus wokeness – Diversity, Inclusion and Equity (DIE) – universities like AU practice the exact opposite. The black-only affinity sections were not diverse — they were an example of uniformity by being restricted to only black students.”
“And how does allowing and promoting racial discrimination at AU address and correct systemic racism? In fact, it promotes more racism by segregating students on the basis of race, which moves us backward to a world of color-consciousness and racial segregation, not forward to a world of color-blindness and racial integration.”
AU did not immediately respond to YAF’s request for comment.
Without vigilant students and professors and YAF’s unique reporting, this investigation would not have been opened. By working together to expose this naked racism and woke culture in universities, YAF, partnered with passionate students, professors, and parents, can effect monumental change. This win is evidence of that.