Brandon Keith Brown, the former director of the orchestra at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, has filed a discrimination complaint with the state’s Commission for Human Rights. The complaint alleges that Brown was fired because of his race.
According to the complaint, Brown said that other members of the department had told him he was “diversity appointment.” In the complaint, Brown wrote that “a Black body was needed in their historically all White male department to satisfy their diversity initiatives.”
Students had complained that Brown was too strict and rude to orchestra members. In his complaint, Brown stated that “the musical authority of White undergraduate students was given more weight than my own. They relied principally on racially biased student evaluations and harsh biased and uninformed critiques from an all White faculty, some of whom never met me and none of which observed me teach.”
In a statement, the university said it would offer a vigorous defense against the accusations. “In no circumstance do we discriminate on the basis of race, disability or any other attribute,” the spokesperson wrote.