The law firm of Lively & Ackerman represents Amanda Davenport in a Level II discrimination complaint filed with the California State University system. The complaint relates to an incident where a black professor physically cornered a student/employee and told the victim that she needed to attend a “whiteness forum” and that she had a problem with black authority figures.
Long Beach, CA (PRWEB)—The California State University at San Marcos has acknowledged the filing of a Executive Order 928 Level II filing by Amanda Davenport. The filing represents the highest level of a discrimination complaint within the CSU system.
Ms. Davenport is represented by the law firm of Lively & Ackerman, which is handling this case on a pro bono basis. According to the formal complaint filed two weeks ago, “It is uniformly agreed by all parties that Respondent Sharon Elise, a professor at CSUSM specifically referred to the race/ethnicity of Complainant in an aggressive way that included strong physical gestures accompanied by ostensibly cornering Complainant into her office without reasonable means of egress. Complainant was told that she could go to a “Whiteness Forum,” that Complainant suffered from a specific form of “racial blindness,” and that she wasn’t used to having “authority figures who were Black.” (See Harassment Investigation Report Dated 5/3/05, p. 7).
Rather obviously, if an African-American student or employee were told that they needed to go to a forum where they were to self-loathe, were told that they suffered from a form of racial blindness, and were told that they were not used to having “authority figures who were White,” one can be fairly assured that there would be at least a call for a reprimand of the offending party.
This Level II complaint is being filed in an attempt to better the California State University environment for all students, faculty and staff regardless of the color of their skin or political views that may be inimical to those of Professor Elise or other similarly militant instructors.”
According to lead attorney, Richard D. Ackerman, “This case is simply appalling. While the CSU system promotes itself as a bastion of diversity and tolerance, Professor Elise’ comments reflect exactly the opposite. While we are all striving for a race-neutral society, this academician is taking us back several decades and promoting the unseen war between the races. She ought to be ashamed of herself and I sincerely hope that action will be taken to protect students and others against such verbal abuse and physically threatening behavior.”
Ackerman is no stranger to race-relations and the law. He was the lead attorney in the published opinion set forth in Friery v. Los Angeles Unified School District (2002) 300 F.3d 1120. The parties in that case are awaiting a final ruling from the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals after the California Supreme Court refused to rule on the applicability of a California proposition barring all forms of discrimination to this case where a “white” teacher was refused a transfer because he was the “of the wrong ethnic origin” according to LAUSD.
According to CSU representative, Ellen Bui, a response to the Davenport complaint is “due 90 working days after the Level II filing.”