Anti-DEI Legislation, Diversity, Inclusion, DEI,

Alabama Governor Signs Bill Banning Diversity Programs In Public Schools And State Universities

The law stresses that it doesn't outright ban DEI; it prohibits state funds from being used for any DEI program.

Kay Ivey of Alabama became the latest governor in the South to ban diversity, equity, and inclusion from her state’s public universities when she signed SB129 into law on March 20. 

As CNN reports, in Alabama’s version of the law, there is an additional requirement for those universities to “designate restrooms on the basis of biological sex,” which, according to Alabama state law, is defined as “the physical condition of being male or female, as stated on the individual’s original birth certificate.”

Ivey told CNN that her administration “will continue to value Alabama’s rich diversity,” and that there is a “liberal political movement counter to what the majority of Alabamians believe.”

The law also bans students, employees, and contractors from any DEI “training, orientation, or course work that advocates or requires assent to a divisive concept.”

According to CNN, Alabama’s law says that divisive concepts include discussions about conscious or unconscious racism and sexism and prohibits discussions about “meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist.”

The law stresses that it doesn’t outright ban DEI, but prohibits state funds from being used for any DEI program. Meanwhile, universities are allowed to teach about events in a “historically accurate context” as well as being allowed to “engage in recruiting and outreach programs.”

Alabama’s ACLU has boisterously opposed the law on its website, writing, “This bill is intended to have a chilling effect on discourse regarding race, class, sexuality, and national origin, and seeks to characterize these discussions and accurate teachings, assignments, and trainings that also supplement them as ‘divisive.’” 

The ACLU continued, “SB129 disrupts the work of student, staff, and faculty organizations at higher education institutions that rely on public funding from their university to develop DEI or culturally based programming. This is not only a form of classroom censorship, it’s an anti-truth bill which curtails an education on systemic inequities, racial violence, and the historic efforts to gain civil rights and civil liberties for marginalized communities throughout our nation’s history.”

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