Mark J. Perry, Ph.D

Mark is a senior fellow at Do No Harm and a full-time civil rights advocate.

Since Mark joined us a little more than a year ago, he’s filed more than 110 complaints with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) against U.S. medical schools for race-based and sex-based discrimination.

Of those, 38 have been opened for investigation so far, and most have been resolved in our favor.

And that’s just since he joined us.

In total, he’s filed federal civil rights complaints over the last five years for more than 2,000 violations of Title VI (race-based discrimination) and Title IX (sex-based discrimination) at colleges and universities.

“There is no ‘good’ form of discrimination, regardless of your intentions. It’s all bad and illegal when it violates the law.”

Almost every U.S. medical school has at least one scholarship, fellowship, clerkship, award, special preference, or academic program that violates federal civil rights laws. Most of them involve favoritism toward students typically considered to be Underrepresented in Medicine (URiM).

Mark recently filed a complaint against two URiM programs at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, a scholarship and a clerkship. In response, the school paused both programs and agreed that if they resume in the future, they will be open to all applicants, regardless of race.

Perhaps the most impressive part of Mark’s impact is that he’s not a lawyer and had no prior background in civil rights. When he filed his first complaint, he was just an economics professor who saw blatant sex discrimination happening at a nearby school and had the courage to legally challenge Michigan State University’s women-only lounge.

The more he paid attention, the more discrimination he witnessed. When the Daily Caller wrote a feature story on his work, Mark explained:

“My goal is to force colleges and universities to protect the federally guaranteed civil rights of all students, staff, and faculty on their campuses … and end the inexcusable double standard in higher education for the selective enforcement of Title VI and Title IX.”

“Simply put, Title VI and Title IX are for all.”

Mark is an inspiring example of how we all have the potential within us to right a wrong in the world when we see one. Thanks to him, hundreds of educational and professional opportunities are now accessible to everyone, equally.

Mark didn’t have to speak up. But he did. And he ended up making a big difference.

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