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Brown University Enters OCR Agreement Regarding Alleged Antisemitic Discrimination

Brown University in Rhode Island has entered into a resolution agreement with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to ensure compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The agreement stems from a complaint filed against the university in December 2023 alleging Title VI violations regarding alleged harassment of students based on national origin, according to OCR.

“I commend Brown University for assessing its own campus climate and undertaking responsive reforms to comply with Title VI, in addition to the terms it agrees today to undertake in response to OCR’s investigation,” said Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Lhamon. “OCR looks forward to work with the university to ensure a nondiscriminatory learning environment for its Jewish, Muslim, Israeli, and Palestinian students and students of all other backgrounds.”Brown UniversityBrown University

OCR’s investigation confirmed that the university has taken proactive steps to support a nondiscriminatory campus environment, including updating its relevant policies and procedures in February 2024. The university also provided university investigators with Title VI training specifically addressing shared ancestry discrimination in January 2024, and it accommodated student and staff workshops on combating antisemitism and combating anti-Muslim hate in February and March 2024.

OCR’s investigation identified compliance concerns regarding the effectiveness of the university’s response to notice of alleged shared ancestry discrimination that could contribute to or create a hostile environment for students. The university received some 75 reports of alleged antisemitic, anti-Palestinian, and anti-Muslim harassment against students from October 2023 through late March 2024.

The university reported organizing its updated practices around: protecting the safety of its community; fostering welcoming, open, and respectful learning and living environments free of discrimination and harassment; providing care and empathy to affected members of the Brown community; and taking the strongest possible stance against any form of discrimination and harassment.

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