Nonprofits join calls opposing Trump order limiting diversity training

President Donald Trump speaking.
President Donald Trump speaking.
Nicole Glass Photography / Shutterstock
The president’s order restricting diversity training has left many employers confused.

Nonprofits join calls opposing Trump order limiting diversity training

Leaders at nonprofits and businesses say the order has created confusion and may lead to baseless investigations.
October 18, 2020

Nonprofits and business leaders signed on to a letter requesting President Donald Trump reverse an executive order that limits some diversity training for federal agencies, federal government contractors or recipients of federal grants, The Wall Street Journal reports. 

“As currently written, we believe the (executive order) will create confusion and uncertainty, lead to non-meritorious investigations, and hinder the ability of employers to implement critical programs to promote diversity and combat discrimination in the workplace,” reads the letter, which has been signed by more than 150 groups, including Nonprofit New York and the New York Council of Nonprofits.

The executive order issued last month would bar nonprofits receiving federal funding from participating in training that “promotes race or sex-stereotyping or scapegoating.” It limits the use of implicit or unconscious bias training “to the extent it teaches or implies that an individual, by virtue of his or her race, sex, and/or national origin, is racist, sexist, oppressive, or biased, whether consciously or unconsciously.” Such training isn’t prohibited if it is designed to foster discussion about stereotypes that people, regardless of their identity, may hold toward people different than themselves, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. 

Signatories said that there was still ambiguity as to what content would be allowed in diversity and inclusiveness training. The Department of Labor also created a hotline for workers to report possible violations related to the executive order, which businesses and nonprofits say would be problematic. 

“Employers are concerned that this will invite non-meritorious complaints from employees who may be disgruntled about a range of different matters,” the letter reads. 

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.