This month, the Trump Administration took steps to halt to certain types of racial equity and diversity training by federally funded agencies and entities. On September 4, at the President’s direction, the Director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget issued memorandum to the heads of executive offices and agencies on “Training in the Federal Government.” The memo frames racial equity training that discusses concepts such as white privilege and critical race theory as “divisive, anti-American propaganda,” and directs all Federal agencies to cease spending on any trainings that cover these topics.
The order’s impacts began appearing almost immediately. For example, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began reviewing their contracts and canceling equity and diversity training, speakers series, and even internal book clubs.
On September 17, the President further escalated efforts to undermine initiatives that examine U.S. history through a racial equity lens when he announced the creation of a “Patriotic Education Commission.”
These chilling actions at the Federal level run counter to the California Strategic Growth Council’s vision for healthy, thriving, resilient communities for all, grounded in the acknowledgment that government plays a critical role in understanding the impacts of racism within our institutions and across society and taking action to remove and address racism at all levels.
The California Strategic Growth Council remains dedicated to understanding and achieving racial equity in our operations, policies, and programs by continuing to update and implement our Racial Equity Action Plan, and working with our Councilmembers to implement the Racial Equity Resolution the Council adopted in August 2020. In addition, we will continue to work collaboratively with other State agencies through the Capitol Collaborative on Race and Equity to realize racial equity across the State of California enterprise.
As the COVID-19 pandemic, wildfires, and other climate disasters continue to exacerbate the stark inequities that persist across racial and economic lines, now is not the time to bury our heads in the sand. Instead, we must strengthen our commitment and redouble our efforts to proactively address racial equity in all we do.