(PresidentialHill.com)- Google recently announced the recipients of its first Image Equity Fellowship, a 6-month Fellowship program awarded to 20 “creators of color.”
The fellowship, which is supported through a partnership with Google, Aperture, For Freedoms, and Free The Work, is only open to applicants were “self-identify” as people of color, that is, black, Middle Eastern, Indigenous, Asian, or Hispanic.
Whites need not apply.
This isn’t the only Google Fellowship program that engaged in blatant racial discrimination.
In August, the Washington Free Beacon reported that Google’s research Ph.D. fellowship program included strict caps on the number of white and Asian students that can be nominated which legal experts warned not only violated civil rights law but also threatened the federal funding of participating schools.
The Google Ph.D. Fellowship, which gives promising computer scientists around $100,000, allows participating universities, including many of the country’s most elite schools, to nominate up to four students annually. However, each participating university nominating four students was required to ensure that two of the nominees “self-identify” as black, Hispanic, Indigenous, female, or disabled.
According to legal experts who spoke with the Free Beacon at the time, such a practice is likely illegal under the Civil Rights Act of 1866. What’s more, it violates Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act for universities that receive federal funding to nominate students based on race.
The blowback on Google prompted by the Free Beacon’s report was swift.
In mid-September, the Free Beacon reported that Google, along with IBM, both dropped the mandated race-based requirement after the Free Beacon’s earlier report had exposed the practice.
In Google’s updated criteria, universities are now only “strongly” encouraged to prioritize non-White and non-Asian candidates. Meanwhile, IBM changed its language to suggest that universities merely “consider” nominating “a diverse slate of candidates.”
In another report, the Free Beacon revealed that Microsoft is doing the same thing for its research fellowship program.
According to the report, the Microsoft Research Ph.D. Fellowship, which includes a generous $42,000 stipend, allows participating universities to nominate as many as four students each year. But Microsoft requires that at least two of the four nominees must “self-identify as a woman, African American, Black, Hispanic, Latinx, Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Indigenous Peoples, LGBTQI+, active or veteran service member, and/or person with a disability.”