(NNPA)—Reverend Dr. E. T. Caviness, board chair National Action Network Greater Cleveland Chapter & president and CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (Cleveland Chapter), spearheaded the push to make this an all inclusive effort by all the civil rights organizations.

SPEARHEADING PUSH—Pictured, front row: Dolores Davis and Rev. Henry Davis Jr.; Rev. Dr. E. T. Caviness of Cleveland; Gerald A. Marks, attorney for plaintiff; Plaintiff Reggie Pretto, Charles Steele; Richard Barber. Back row: Atty. Louis Tambaro; William C. Riddick; James E. Harris; and Marcia L. McCoy, president National Action Network Greater Cleveland Chapter.

Civil rights leaders joined in support of a suit filed against Dunkin’ Donuts.

The lawsuit accuses Dunkin’ Donuts of franchise discrimination against an Indian American Woman and African-Americans.

The complaint filed Monday, Aug. 20 at 10:45 a.m. in the New Jersey Superior Court, by Marks & Klein LLP of Red Bank, New Jersey, alleges that Dunkin’ Donuts engages in discriminatory franchise practices that deprive both African-American and female IndianAmerican franchisees the economically advantageous opportunities afforded to White male franchisees.

In the Amended Complaint and Jury Demand titled Priti Shetty, Amy Pretto, and Reggie Pretto, Plaintiffs, vs. Dunkin Donuts Franchised Restaurants, LLC, a Delaware Limited Liability Company, Baskin-Robbins Franchised Shops, LLC, a Delaware Limited Liability Company and Wayne Miller, individually, defendants filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Middlesex County, Marks & Klein contends that a female Indian American franchisee named Priti Shetty was berated, insulted, and denied a third store because of her race and gender.

The lawsuit also alleges that Dunkin’ Donuts discriminated against an African American couple and that Dunkin’ steers its few African American franchisees to troubled and lower potential ethnic neighborhoods, reserving socioeconomically advantageous markets for non-minority franchisees.

Other organizations represented at the filing were Ministerial Alliance for the City of New Brunswick, New Jersey; James E. Harris, state president New Jersey NAACP; Charles Steele, CEO National Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Atlanta, Georgia; Richard Barber, chairman of Economic Committee New Jersey NAACP; Atty. Louis Tambaro, Rev. Henry Davis, president Red Bank, New Jersey, NAACP and his wife Dolores.

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