Washington Update

Societies Urge Administration to Rescind Executive Actions to Eliminate Diversity Training

By: Yvette Seger
Wednesday, October 14, 2020

FASEB joined 49 other scientific societies in denouncing recent actions taken by the Trump Administration to eliminate federal employee training programs related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), noting that these actions run counter to current agency efforts to foster a more diverse and equitable work environment.

On September 4, the White House Office of Management and Budget issued Memorandum M-20-34 directing the heads of executive departments and agencies to cease and desist the use of federal funding of employee training programs that incorporate teachings on critical race theory and white privilege, or suggest that “the United States is an inherently racist or evil country or that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil.” This action was echoed by an Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping issued on September 22.

As stated in the letter signed by FASEB, these executive actions “do a disservice to our community and research itself by wrongfully linking DEI trainings to the notion that anyone is inherently racist or sexist. [W]rongfully insinuating that DEI trainings are inherently anti-American sends a message of division, intolerance, and subjectivity that is damaging to our R&D community.”