A government watchdog organization Tuesday requested that Missouri Attorney-General Andrew Bailey investigate an Missouri State University boot program funded by tax payers that excluded White men.
The Equal Protection Project (EPP), in a letter addressed to Bailey, alleged that Missouri State University was “engaging racial and gender discrimination” by sponsoring, promoting, and hosting a “boot camp” for small business training that only allowed women and those who identified as “BIPOC”, an acronym that stands for “Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color” (non-white).
MSU began receiving applications in late November for the Spring 2023 Early Stage Business Boot Camp Program.
The program is for women and BIPOCs who are either in the early stages of starting a business or have just started one.
The program lasted eight sessions (once per week for eight consecutive weeks) and ended on Tuesday. Participants received a $3,000 stipend to cover transportation, childcare or other business costs.
According to EPP, a grant of $30,000 from the U.S. Bank Foundation was used for the foundation at the university for “efactory”, a technology-focused incubator for business and entrepreneurial development. The Missouri Scholarship and Loan Foundation also provided funding.
EPP claimed in its letter to AG that the program is racially, and gender discriminatory [as] well as violating state and federal constitutions prohibiting race and gender-based bias.”
EPP asked the AG to investigate and to take remedial action in order to stop such “discriminatory practice and impose reparative relief.”
The group claims that the program is a part of larger programming offered by MSU’s efactory, Missouri Small Business Development Center and Missouri Small Business Development Center.
The letter referred to MSU’s BIPOC definition, which acknowledges “experiences as non-White groups living in the United States during colonialism.”
William Jacobson, EPP founder, Cornell law professor, said to Fox News Digital: “If the roles were reversed and it was stated that this [program] was only open to Whites, nobody would have said you did not specifically exclude Blacks.” “Well, if you define something that excludes someone, then that is excluding them,” William Jacobson, EPP founder and Cornell law professor, told Fox News Digital.
The MSU arm that has partnered with organizations to offer free business training ,, and one-on-one support to BIPOC business owners was highlighted.
Fox News Digital has contacted AG Bailey’s office for a comment.
MSU will comment on Thursday.