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Title VI or Title IX: City University of New York (CUNY) (NY) OCR Complaint Nos. 02-06-2094 and 02-06-2123, et. al.

On November 23, 2012, OCR closed two complaints against the City University of New York (CUNY) because of its operation of a Black Male Initiative (BMI) mentoring and support program. The complainant had alleged that “Title VI and Title IX do not sanction ‘Black Male Initiatives.’ Period.” OCR stated that it is not, however, a per se violation of Title VI or Title IX for a postsecondary institution to operate a race-themed and/or gender-themed mentoring and support program. OCR further stated that a race-themed or gender-themed mentoring and support program that does not exclude students on the basis of their race or sex and does not use race- or sex-exclusive recruiting would not be subject to strict scrutiny review and would not violate Title VI. OCR added that none of the BMI programs or activities excludes persons who are not black and/or male from participating. As to the complainant’s second complaint, that the BMI programs allegedly discriminated in employment on the basis of both race and sex, OCR said that it has limited jurisdiction to investigate Title VI employment issues, and that neither of its jurisdictional bases were present here. OCR stated that its jurisdiction over claims of sex discrimination in employment is broader under the Title IX regulation, but OCR did not find evidence here to support a claim of sex discrimination in employment. Ultimately, OCR administratively closed the complaints as moot, consistent with OCR’s case processing procedures. 

Read the Resolution Letter download files PDF (169K)

Last Modified: 01/15/2020