(September 29th, 2023 – Washington, DC) -- StandWithUs has launched a two-part letter writing campaign urging the U.S. Department of Education’s (DOE) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to resolve its extensive backlog of Title VI complaints from Jewish students regarding antisemitism on campus. The campaign also gives people the opportunity to thank eighty-six bipartisan lawmakers who signed onto a letter raising this problem with the U.S. Secretary of Education, Dr. Miguel Cardona.
Antisemitism is on the rise worldwide, including on U.S. college campuses. One way Jewish students are fighting back against this bigotry is by submitting Title VI complaints to the United States Department of Education (DOE) Office for Civil Rights (OCR). These complaints are meant to hold universities accountable for enabling discrimination and ensure they do better in the future.However, according to a recent bipartisan letter from Members of Congress, there is a major backlog of these complaints at OCR, leading to lengthy delays and a lack of justice.
“It is vital for OCR to figure out how to resolve its extensive backlog of investigations into campus antisemitism. Jewish students who face discrimination should not have to wait until after they graduate to see their universities held accountable by the Department of Education,” saidStandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein.
The August 22nd letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona expressed the urgency of the issue and made several requests. These include a response outlining how OCR plans to resolve the backlog of Title VI complaints, encourage Jewish students to continue reporting cases of discrimination despite the backlog, and better equip educational institutions to teach their students about antisemitism. The lawmakers also called for the DOE to brief Congress before September 30th. While the September 30th deadline approaches quickly, Secretary Cardona has not publicly responded, as far as we know. Jewish students and the wider Jewish community deserve a clear answer about how the DOE plans to address its backlog and resolve Title VI complaints far more swiftly. Anyone interested in participating in the campaign to address this important issue can click here.
StandWithUs (SWU) is an international, nonprofit and non-partisan Israel education organization that works to inspire and educate people of all ages about Israel, as well as challenge misinformation and fight against antisemitism.
Through university fellowships, high school internships, middle school curricula, conferences, materials, social media, educational films and missions to Israel, StandWithUs supports people around the world who want to educate their schools and communities about Israel.
Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Los Angeles, the organization has chapters and programs on six continents, including throughout the U.S., in Israel, the UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Brazil and the Netherlands.
For the last eleven years, SWU has consistently received the highest possible ratings from Charity Navigator and Guidestar, two charity watchdog groups that assess hundreds of thousands of charities in the United States.