Institute for Diversity & Inclusion in Emergency Management Condemns Executive Order Ban on Diversity Training

White House policy will have dangerous and deadly impacts based on its application by federal agencies responsible for homeland security, emergency management and public safety


ATLANTA – October 14, 2020 – The Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management (I-DIEM) strongly condemns efforts by the White House and the Office of Management and Budget‘s halt of diversity training in federal agencies. These unwise and untimely actions are symbolic of the continued failure of this Administration to include diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) as guiding principles within the ongoing response to the Coronavirus Pandemic. COVID-19 is an unprecedented disaster that has killed over 215,000 Americans; disproportionately from communities of color. COVID-19 has, once again, revealed that systemic racism and inequities are root causes that lead to greater negative impacts in communities that have been historically marginalized. This policy will have dangerous and deadly impacts based on its application by federal agencies responsible for homeland security, emergency management, and public safety. 

On September 4, 2020, the OMB Director issued a guidance memo to Federal Executive Branch agency heads directing them to “cease and desist from using taxpayer dollars” to fund diversity training that arbitrarily are considered to be “divisive, un-American training”. Subsequently, the White House released Executive Order 13950 (Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping) on September 22, 2020, which ordered Federal agencies to eliminate training sessions” including all contracts or agency spending related to:

“‘critical race theory’, ‘white privilege’ or any other training that teaches or suggests that (1) the United States is an inherently racist or evil country or (2) that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil.”

“Executive Order 13950 ignores American history, or recent examples of disaster response failures at the federal level such as the over 3,000 Puerto Rican lives that were lost during Hurricane Maria in 2017,” stated I-DIEM CEO Chauncia Willis. These Americans suffered from a response that lacked urgency, cultural competency, or compassion. Per the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which houses the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the greatest security threat to the homeland is domestic terrorism orchestrated by violent white supremacist organizations. These domestic, racist, hate groups intend to promote violence, confusion, and the promotion of divisive and un-American principles that oppose diversity, equity, and inclusion. The impact of past disasters, ongoing COVID-19 response, and domestic terrorism threats are significant and reaffirm the need for diversity, equity and inclusion training that would enable federal policy-makers to work together to understand root causes of inequities, diverse experiences of people of color, present-day impact of racism, and solutions for implementing equitable policies. I-DIEM stands firm in the belief that DEI education is required to address the root causes of disaster vulnerability and to build a more resilient nation. DEI training helps key officials understand that:

·      Disaster vulnerability for communities of color is due to systemic racism demonstrated in housing, urban planning, economic, education environmental and other public policies that concentrate poverty and divest resources 

·      Disasters disproportionately kill and injure more people of color

·      Communities of color suffer greater economic loss after disasters but are not provided with equitable recovery support 

DEI training ensures that America can untangle the long legacy of biased and inequitable policies that have prevented us from living up too high, yet unachieved ideals of our founding documents. DEI training promotes the creation of “a more perfect Union, establish(ed) in Justice” to improve the development and delivery of equitable policies to support all Americans. Our ongoing domestic crises is the result of a failure to address racial inequities which will be exacerbated by this Executive Order. Diversity, equity, and inclusion training is a matter of life or death. Efforts to eliminate diversity training will directly contribute to the loss of more American lives.

“I-DIEM believes Executive Order 13950 is a dangerous and irresponsible policy; it runs counter to established Civil Rights and Equal Employment Opportunity laws/policies and existing Federal agencies diversity and inclusion goals. Efforts to educate the Federal workforce on diversity, equity, inclusion must be re-instated and increased,” said Willis.

 

About the Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management

The Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management is a 501(c)3, global non-profit organization established to facilitate change by integrating equity into all aspects of emergency management. Our focus is on humanity, and our vision support the empowerment of marginalized communities within all phases of the disaster management cycle.


Who we are

The Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management (I-DIEM) is a global non-profit established to facilitate change by integrating into all aspects of emergency management. Our focus is on humanity and our vision supports the empowerment of marginalized communities within all phases of the disaster management cycle.

statement from the cEO

“The Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management was founded to serve as a source of hope for the future of emergency management. It is my belief that there is a fierce urgency of now. As we stand at the precipice of change, let us leap together into a diverse, inclusive and equitable future for everyone.”

– Chauncia Willis

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