Education Department to Open Civil Rights Probe into UC Berkeley Allegedly Banning White People from Farm

University of California Berkeley Campus
by Charlotte Hazard


The Department of Education is looking into an allegation that the University of California at Berkeley is prohibiting white residents from using a community farm on Saturdays.

The department’s Office for Civil Rights said the agency does not comment on pending investigations. However, a Berkeley spokesperson told Just the News the university will be cooperating with the probe but offered no further comment.

The complaint was file by the nonprofit law firm Mountain States Legal Foundation, which on Tuesday said the department was looking into the allegation.

General counsel for the group, William Trachman, said a whistleblower came forward and alleged the university-owned Gill Tract Community Farm offered its space and services only to black, indigenous and people of color on Saturdays.

The farm was launched in 2013 as a partnership between the university and different neighborhoods in the area, according to The New York Post.

“We envision a vibrant community farm, a model of shared governance and co-stewardship that helps restore community resilience,” the farm’s website reads.

UC Gill Tract Community Farm
UC Gill Tract Community Farm / Facebook

Trachman said recently on the “Furthermore with Amanda Head” podcast the whistleblower believes in the farm’s mission statement but doesn’t support the alleged discrimination.

“That person who shall remain nameless reached out to us and sent us the documents that proved that Saturdays were [Black, Indigenous and People of Color] Only days,” he said. “So we filed a complaint. Not a lawsuit, but a complaint.”

Trachman previously served in the Department of Education as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office for Civil Rights and has clerked on the circuit court.

“As a public institution, UC Berkeley is bound by federal civil rights and anti-discrimination laws, and the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution,” the group says.

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Charlotte Hazard is a reporter at Just the News.
Photo “Berkeley Campus” by brainchildvn (CC BY 2.0).



Reprinted with permission from Just the News.

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