Pigeonholed Because of Race

When Pamela Swanigan applied for her doctorate at the University of Connecticut, she was told that, as the top candidate that year, she had received a prestigious merit-based scholarship. Instead, she was routed into the less prestigious “diversity” award solely because of her race — she is half black and half white.


Terry Pell and the Center for Individual Rights (CIR) filed a lawsuit on her behalf, arguing that students deserve to compete for scholarships based on merit, not to be pigeonholed because of race.


Ms. Swanigan says it best: “My goal is to ensure that students are treated as individuals regardless of race and regardless of other efforts to promote racial diversity. I wanted — and still want — to compete on the basis of my academic abilities just like any other student.”


I am personally very grateful for the work Terry Pell and the Center for Individual Rights have done to stand for true equality. CIR represented me in my lawsuit against the University of Michigan’s discriminatory race-based admission point system. We can always count on CIR to support equal treatment.


- Jennifer Gratz