Race Matters: Woman Claims She Was Fired From Working At Historically Black University Because She’s White

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Categories: Cry Me A River, In White Folks News, News, Race Matters, When The Checks Stop Coming In

Shira Hedgpeth

She’s gonna Fight The Power! A white woman who was let go from her position at a North Carolina HBCU says it’s all because of her color.

Via NY Daily News:

A former employee of a historically black university says she was fired because she is white.

“In my opinion, had I been African-American, they would not have fired me,” Shira Hedgepeth, former director of academic technology at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina, told the Daily News.

“They had no documentation of any problem with my employment. I was highly regarded as a qualified employee.”

WSSU has denied Hedgepeth’s allegations of racial discrimination, however, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has ruled that her race played a factor in her termination, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.

Hedgepeth says she was fired without warning in July 2011 after working at the university since August 2008.

Her superior, the university’s Associate Provost and Chief Information Officer, told her that the university was letting her go because it was “going in a different direction,” according to an EEOC letter to the university dated Sept. 20.

WSSU claims it fired Hedgepeth because it was restructuring her department and her position would now require “advanced skills in systems and applications programming,” according to the Journal.

Hedgepeth, however, says that her termination is just another example of how employees at the university are treated differently based on race — a trend she became aware of soon after she was hired.

“It became quite obvious that the mission was that it was a black university and that it should be run by black administrators and black staff,” she told the Daily News.

WSSU’s faculty is 67.3 percent black and 23.9 percent white, according to 2010-2011 statistics provided to the Winston-Salem Journal by the university’s spokeswoman Nancy Young.

Young declined to comment on Hedgepeth’s allegations citing an on-going legal matter.

Hedgepeth, who remains unemployed, will now enter mediation with the university. If a settlement is not reached, the case could go to federal court.

“I’m still damaged. I will never be made whole,” Hedgepeth said. “Racism is racism, it doesn’t matter which way it goes.”

She’s damaged though? For real? It’s not like they said her performance was horrible, they just said they wanted to go in a new direction she wasn’t qualified for. Still if the EEOC sided with her there must be something to it… right?

Do you think she was fired unfairly or is she just playing the race card because she can?

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