Do No Harm Lawsuit Charges Arkansas Minority Health Commission with Discrimination against Students Based on Skin Color
Today, Do No Harm, an organization working to protect healthcare from discriminatory, divisive ideologies, filed a lawsuit on behalf of a member against Kenya L. Eddings, the Executive Director of the Arkansas Minority Health Commission. The suit asserts Ms. Eddings, in her official capacity as head of the AMHC, is responsible for a scholarship – the Minority Healthcare Workforce Diversity Scholarship – that discriminates against students based on their skin color.
“This scholarship clearly violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, said Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, Board Chair of Do No Harm. “The Arkansas Minority Health Commission is illegally excluding and discriminating against certain medical students and denying them opportunities based on their race, color, or national origin – the scholarship should be declared unconstitutional and promptly enjoined.”
The Do No Harm suit, filed in the Eastern District of Arkansas, maintains that the scholarship is blatantly illegal. The Equal Protection Clause requires racial classifications to satisfy strict scrutiny, and the scholarship’s gross racial exclusion obviously fails to meet those standards.
To be eligible for the scholarship, an applicant must “confirm that [he is] a racial minority,” meaning “African American, Hispanic, Native American/American Indian, Asian American or Marshallese.” In other words, Arkansas’s white and Arab-American students need not apply.
Do No Harm seeks the following:
- A declaratory judgment that the Arkansas Minority Health Commission’s Minority Healthcare Workforce Diversity Scholarship violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
- A permanent injunction barring Defendant from selecting student applicants based on race and from enforcing any and all racially discriminatory eligibility criteria when awarding the Arkansas Minority Health Commission’s Minority Healthcare Workforce Diversity Scholarship.
- A preliminary injunction granting the above relief throughout the pendency of this case and a temporary restraining order preventing Defendant from selecting any scholarship recipients until the Court resolves the preliminary injunction.
ABOUT DO NO HARM:
Do No Harm is a diverse group of physicians, healthcare professionals, medical students, patients, and policymakers united by an ethical mission: Protect healthcare from a radical, divisive, and discriminatory ideology. They believe in making healthcare better for all – not undermining it in pursuit of a political agenda. Learn more at www.donoharmmedicine.org.
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