Diversity and inclusion training suspended at State Department

All training programs related to diversity and inclusion have been halted at the State Department, a month after President Trump signed an executive order prohibiting the teaching of so-called “divisive concepts” at federal agencies. 

In statement to The Hill on Sunday morning, a spokesperson for the department said it began “pausing all training programs related to diversity and inclusion” on Friday in accordance with the White House’s executive order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping “to allow time for review of content and materials.”

The spokesperson said the order, signed by Trump last month, requires the Office of Personnel Management “to review diversity and inclusion trainings to ensure compliance, and the Department to ensure trainings, workshops, and forums do not contain ‘divisive concepts.'”

“As an Executive Branch Agency, the Department of State complies with all Executive Orders. The Department’s commitment to fostering a more diverse and inclusive workplace is long-standing and steadfast.  Department leadership continues to encourage the workforce to engage in inclusive conversations and other efforts to promote diversity and inclusion consistent with the [Executive Order],” the spokesperson added.

Reuters was first to break the news over the weekend.

The move comes a month after Trump signed an executive order banning the teaching of so-called “divisive concepts” at federal agencies.

Concepts outlined in the order that fall under the category include the notion that United States is fundamentally racist or sexist, that any individual should feel “discomfort, guilt, anguish” or physiological distress on account of his or her race or sex and that “meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist, or were created by a particular race to oppress another race.” 

Executive departments and agencies, the U.S. military, federal contractors and federal grant recipients are covered by the order. 

It was issued several weeks after the Trump administration also directed federal agencies to cancel programs for employees discussing “white privilege” or “critical race theory.”

The president has criticized anti-racism teachings in recent weeks and announced plans for a commission that would promote “patriotic education” as he seeks to bolster support among his base and white voters in the final stretch of the presidential race.

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