Posted on February 16, 2022

Morgan Stanley Under Fire for Minority-Only Intern Program

Kevin Daley, Washington Free Beacon, February 15, 2022

An advocacy group is pressing financial giant Morgan Stanley to end an internship program open only to gay students and select minorities.

The Project on Fair Representation on Tuesday sent a letter to Morgan Stanley and Princeton University warning that identity-based criteria for the bank’s 2022 Freshman Enhancement Program violate federal nondiscrimination laws. The internship is open only to “Black, Hispanic, Native American, and/or LGBTQ+ freshman undergraduate student[s],” according to Morgan Stanley’s website. Princeton has allegedly encouraged its students to apply for the program, according to the letter.

“Morgan Stanley and Princeton are leading institutions in our culture,” the letter reads. “What you do matters not only because it affects the individuals involved, but also because you set an influential example for others. Pandering to activists with ‘diversity, equity, and inclusion’ initiatives like this internship program is actively harming and racializing our already divided country.”

The program keeps with the uptick in race-based benefits in recent years. {snip}

Morgan Stanley’s program appears to use race and sexual orientation in a wooden fashion. While a holistic review that considered race and sex among numerous other factors might survive a legal challenge, the bank’s website and outside materials that describe the program explicitly state that candidates must be gay, black, Hispanic, or Native American to apply.

Based on Morgan Stanley’s description, it appears that white and Asian applicants who are heterosexual are categorically ineligible for the program. Tuesday’s letter notes that federal law prohibits all forms of race discrimination in employment and contracting. {sniip}

Lawyers for the Project on Fair Representation said in Tuesday’s letter that the program’s existence indicates a “broader dysfunction” at both Morgan Stanley and Princeton. A sound legal review would never authorize discrimination based on race or sexual orientation, they argued.