CIR has filed suit against the State of Oregon for establishing a coronavirus relief fund that is limited to black Oregonians. Setting aside government money for a race-exclusive fund violates the Fourteenth Amendment and federal anti-discrimination law.
In July, The Contingent, an Oregon nonprofit that primarily serves black Oregonians, and the Black United Fund were placed in charge of administering The Oregon Cares Fund, which was granted $62 million from the state of Oregon’s Cares Act funds. The Oregon Cares Fund would distribute federal grant money exclusively to Black individuals and Black-owned businesses. The state authorized the full amount.
Filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, the suit asks the court to declare the race-exclusive limit on the relief fund unconstitutional and to consider applications for relief under the fund regardless of race.