A New York Times article—published on April 8, 2022 and titled “Lawsuit Charges For-Profit University Preyed on Black and Female Students”—profiles Relman Colfax’s clients Aljanal Carroll and Tiffany Fair, two of the named plaintiffs in the firm’s ongoing class-action lawsuit against Walden University (“Walden”). In addition to portraying the harm inflicted by Walden’s practices, the article highlights Plaintiffs’ “reverse redlining” claims, which allege that Walden specifically targeted Black and female students for their predatory doctoral business program. These reverse redlining claims reflect an expansion of the firm’s prior pathbreaking work in this arena, which includes the first reverse redlining trial, the first certification of a reverse redlining class action, and the first reverse redlining case against a for-profit college.
The Times article notes that Black women are “are disproportionately burdened by high college costs, a lack of wealth and obligations like parenthood that fuel their aspirations to attend college but also hinder their ability to pay for it.” Education Trust’s recently published brief, also featured by the Times, details the ways that Black women—who "exist at the intersection of two marginalized identities and experience sexism and racism at the same time”—struggle with staggering amounts student debt. The stories of Dr. Fair and Dr. Carroll illustrate this plight.
On January 7, 2021, Relman Colfax and co-counsel the National Student Legal Defense Network filed the class-action lawsuit against Walden University, a for-profit university that offers online degrees, in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. Plaintiffs assert claims under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (“ECOA”), and several state consumer protection laws.
Plaintiffs are currently responding to Walden’s Motion to Dismiss the case.