Brown University Barred White and Asian Students from Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Class  

The Ivy League school’s policy caused a student to complain.

QUICK FACTS:
  • Brown University has begun to bar students from enrolling in classes based on their race, according to a recent complaint sent to the Foundation Against Intolerance & Racism (FAIR) by a member of the student body.
  • The school’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is part of a certificate program are mature adults, many of whom are re-training for a second career as meditation teachers.
  • The program is “ONLY open to certain demographics (black, latino, indigenous),” according to the anonymous student complaint filed with FAIR on May 13 of this year.
  • The student asserted that the university’s policy is a “return to educational segregation based on skin color.”
  • “As a student of the program, I find myself being unable to continue my training with this institution as I refuse to support educational segregation based solely on skin color as it violates my core principles, values, and the Buddhist teachings that which this program is based on,” the student said in an incident report.
  • Brown has since decided to allow any student to enroll in the class, which picks up again in August of this year.
THE ‘FOUNDATION AGAINST INTOLERANCE & RACISM’ SENT A LETTER TO THE UNIVERSITY:
  • FAIR sent a letter to the president of Brown University, outlining their concern about the complaint sent in by one of the university students.
  • “We believe, however, that establishing a teacher training program based on skin color or ancestry violates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act,” the group said, citing several statutes that apply to anti-discrimination issues.
  • “It is generous and thoughtful of Brown to offer teacher training and scholarships based on economic need or other criteria unrelated to immutable traits. Under Title VI, however, it may not offer such a benefit only to certain students based on their skin color or ancestry. We urge the university to open the program to any deserving student without regard to their immutable traits. We also believe that such a gesture would demonstrate Brown’s commitment to non-discrimination and equal access.”
BACKGROUND:
  • In 2020, the Justice Department said that Yale University “illegally discriminated against white and Asian students.”
  • The university reportedly “illegally” discriminated against the two races when assessing undergraduate admissions, according to the results of a two-year investigation.
  • The investigation found that “race is the determinative factor in hundreds of admissions decisions each year,” in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the DOJ said.