EO Banning Sensitivity Training – A Note from the CEO

Earlier this year, I wrote about the insidious and institutional racism that has surfaced again and again – forcing us to confront the fact that for so many, fear of violence and confrontation with loathing has been woven into the fabric of their experience for generations.  In that moment, I attempted to frame my own response within the association’s aligned vision of a statewide network committed to diversity and inclusion, optimal independence and engagement in the community, with enhanced quality and fullness of life. Given the moral compass provided by foundational values and vision, my commitment as CEO included rededication to addressing injustice and inequity, looking beyond programs and services to help build the sustainable systems and policies that positively impact all members of our community.

One expression of this rededication was an effort to holistically support our members through a partnership with the Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA) to determine the perceptions of your board and staff on your organization’s commitment and progress with diversity, inclusion and equity best practices.  Six member organizations have engaged in this process.  Now, such initiatives have come under attack through an Executive Order that criticized federal agencies for spending “millions of taxpayer dollars on diversity training for government workers.” According to the memorandum, legitimate efforts to address racism and sexism would “undercut our core values as Americans and drive division within our workforce.”

MNA recently joined more than 160 organizations asking the President to withdraw his Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping.  Among national nonprofit organizations, the Private Sector Letter to the President is signed by Independent Sector, National Council of Nonprofits, and United Philanthropy Forum. Representatives from the for-profit community include the Associated General Contractors, National Association of Manufacturers, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Read MNA’s full statement here.

Incompass Michigan is a proud member of MNA, and it is my privilege to serve on their Board of Directors.  In both capacities, I support the issuance of this statement, and applaud the MNA team for standing in opposition to the EO and its potential to hinder the ability of employers to implement critical programs to promote diversity and combat discrimination in the workplace.  Incompass Michigan will be hosting a webinar on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on October 29 as part of our Leadership 101 series – click for additional information, and to register.