By Executive Order 13950, the Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping, federal entities are now barred from using federal funds for workplace diversity trainings, anti-racism trainings, and scholarship. The irony within this Executive Order states, ”This ideology is rooted in the pernicious and false belief that America is an irredeemably racist and sexist country, that people, simply on account of their sex or race are oppressors.”
The EO restricts what can be taught, even if it is the real and full story of our past history, and prohibits education on types of discrimination and institutional racism.
My DEI colleagues are already feeling the chilling effects of the order. They have until Nov. 21 to revise their DEI training contracts in which they agree to reassess their curriculum and make necessary changes. Their trainings are now federally regulated. Other are reporting canceled workshops, courses, and lectures.
A joint letter from the CEOs of the AMA, AHA, and ANA - organizations representing nearly 5,000 hospitals and health systems, more than 1 million physicians, and more than 4 million registered nurses, called on the current Administration to rescind Executive Order 13950. “Each of the actions outlined in EO 13950 would effectively reverse decades of progress in combating racial inequality.”
A coalition of attorneys general joined together to urge that the Executive Order be rescinded as it prohibits implicit bias trainings for federal contractors and federal grantees. Instead, the coalition wants to see the trainings aimed at understanding and combating racial injustice expanded.
I received an email from the African American Policy Forum, a coalition of critical race scholars and advocates of anti-racist work and free expression, taking the threat of suppression seriously and mounting a response. To better understand and broadly communicate the impact, they ask anyone affected by EO 13950 to please leave a brief testimony via the Google form linked here: LINK TO FORM FOR RESPONSES All submissions will be kept confidential. You may also email them at email@example.com with any questions or to contribute further.
With court challenges already underway, and a House bill to rescind has 49 co-sponsors, Executive Order 13950 will likely be overturned by the new President. But much more public attention needs to be drawn to an Executive Order barring citizens from acknowledging the origins of racism in the history of their country.