A Response to the Executive Order on Diversity Training

To our community of learners, educators, partners, and colleagues:

We at DiversityEdu are opposed to Executive Order 13950 on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping issued by President Trump on September 22, 2020.

Why we oppose the Order

We stand with organizations such as AAAED, NADOHE, The HR Policy Association, and many others in taking the position that the Order is antithetical to the main purpose of diversity and inclusion initiatives. The main purpose of such initiatives is to forward equitable access and participation by all in the full benefits of American life, as our history and laws demand.

We are deeply concerned about the outcomes of the Order, should it be enforced, and the chilling effect the Order has already had on governmental agencies and private entities.

Moreover, we do not believe that DiversityEdu’s learning and management tools fall within the scope of the Order. Accordingly, we are not deterred by the Order from our mission of helping educational institutions and other organizations grow diverse and inclusive cultures.

Why DiversityEdu does not contravene the Order

  • DiversityEdu does not, in the words of the Order, “put forward the ideology that America is an irredeemably racist and sexist country.” In fact, based on ample research, DiversityEdu teaches the opposite: that we can change organizational practices and personal attitudes and behaviors to build diverse and inclusive communities.
  • DiversityEdu does not, in the words of the Order, express a “malign ideology.” It expresses the American ideology of free speech and inclusive community, where every voice is heard and valued. In the words of the Order, it is “to foster environments devoid of hostility grounded in race, sex, and other federally protected characteristics.”
  • DiversityEdu is not training within the meaning of the Order. On the contrary, “learning, not training” is the exact language we use to describe DiversityEdu. The learning points in DiversityEdu are based on social science research, presented in the form of courses and workshops.

Why opposition to the Order is widespread

To quote the National Council on Nonprofits, the Order runs “counter to the widely respected view that being informed about racial and gender diversity, equity, and inclusion is essential to the healing and wellbeing of the country and important for high-performing organizations.”

There are also several legal bases for opposing the Order. The New York Times reports that “Civil rights groups, including the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, are considering litigation.” Several leading law firms that have analyzed the Order question its enforceability and recommend caution, rather than overreaction.

Our Continued Commitment

DiversityEdu firmly opposes the Order as contrary to fundamental and broadly shared American practices and values. We do not believe DiversityEdu is contrary to any reasonable reading of the Order. We intend to continue creating research-based courses and workshops that teach how to increase diversity and advance inclusive culture, and to help end racism, sexism, and all forms of discrimination.

 

Alison Akant, J.D., M.Ed
Founder and Chief Content Officer
DiversityEdu LLC

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Alison Akant
Founder
& Chief Content Officer

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