‘DEI Thursdays’: Rev. Al Sharpton Announces Tenth Protest Outside Office of Anti-DEI Leader Bill Ackman 

‘DEI Thursdays’: Rev. Al Sharpton Announces Tenth Protest Outside Office of Anti-DEI Leader Bill Ackman 

The reverend is actively pursuing justice!

Rev. Al Sharpton is setting the stage for protests outside the offices of billionaire hedge fund founder Bill Ackman in the fight against anti-diversity, equity and inclusion tactics. 

In a press release shared with BLACK ENTERPRISE, Sharpton announced he will lead the 10th protest outside Ackman’s NYC offices on March 14. Every Thursday since the resignation of Harvard’s first Black president, Claudine Gay, Sharpton and supporters have shown up to Ackman’s offices to be seen and heard about the growing pressures of canceling DEI measures. 

The civil rights leader pointed Ackman out as one of the far-right-wing activists — including Elon Musk and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — intensifying workplace diversity opposition. Starting with the reversal of affirmative action in 2023, Sharpton said Gay’s resignation was just the start of getting rid of Black and brown professionals. “First they went after affirmative action to make it harder for Black and brown students to gain admission to universities, and now they’re trying to root out Black and brown professionals from university leadership, just as they did to Claudine Gay,” he said. 

“This is why NAN has been rallying and will continue to rally outside the office of Bill Ackman each Thursday.” 

The billionaire investor made headlines following his criticism of how his alma mater handled antisemitic rhetoric on campus. He then turned his attention to DEI, calling it “the root cause of antisemitism,” Gay’s resignation. His sentiments matched those of Twitter CEO Elon Musk, who criticized DEI efforts by United Airlines and Boeing to hire pilots and factory workers of color. He made false claims that diversifying workspaces will make air travel less safe.

In more than 30 states during their legislative session, Republican lawmakers have introduced or passed over 100 bills to restrict or regulate DEI initiatives, according to NBC News. With most stemming from 2020 protests pushing for schools and companies to become more racially and socially inclusive, the efforts saw a pushback from executives and politicians to counter DEI efforts in many industries, including higher education.

In Utah, GOP governor Spencer Cox signed HB261 into law, requiring public schools to remove all references to diversity posted in offices and open programming to everyone. It’s similar to the University of Florida, which on March 4 eliminated DEI positions following a state rule banning the use of state funds for DEI or “political or social activism.” 

Sharpton continues to stand tall as a leader through a continuous fight. “We will keep up the drumbeat for the defense of the DEI so long as their shameless attacks against diversity persist,” he said.