Alabama Governor Bans Diversity Programs At Schools And State Agencies


Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has signed a bill banning state funding for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs in schools, public colleges, and state agencies. This move is the last in a trend of Republican-led efforts to restrict DEI initiatives.

The new law, known as SB 129, imposes restrictions on what it calls eight “divisive concepts” related to race and personal identity. It also mandates that public colleges designate bathrooms based on a person’s biological sex.

“My administration has and will continue to value Alabama’s rich diversity. However, I refuse to allow a few bad actors on college campuses—or wherever else for that matter—to go under the acronym of DEI, using taxpayer funds, to push their liberal political movement counter to what the majority of Alabamians believe,” Ivey said in a March 20 statement, ABC News reports

Critics argue that these bills are politically motivated and undermine free speech protections rather than protect them. The bill prohibits violations of its restrictions, with potential disciplinary action or termination for offenders. 

“Today, the Alabama government has failed our children,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson. “The ongoing assault on diversity, equity, and inclusion is part of an anti-Black agenda that seeks to revert our nation back to a time where Black students and teachers were denied adequate access to the classroom. We refuse to go back.”

The eight “divisive concepts” the bill states it prohibits range from the idea that “any race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, or national origin is inherently superior or inferior” to the notion that “any individual should accept, acknowledge, affirm, or assent to a sense of guilt, complicity, or a need to apologize on the basis of his or her race, color, religion, sex, ethnicity, or national origin.” 

The bill also rejects the idea that any “individual is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or subconsciously” — a position that runs counter to what social scientists have concluded in recent decades.

However, it reportedly doesn’t prevent students, staff, or faculty groups from hosting DEI events or discussions as long as they don’t use state money. 

According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, 80 anti-DEI bills have been introduced in 28 states and Congress since 2023, with measures signed into law in eight states.

The Alabama law goes into effect on October 1, 2024.


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