The Alabama Republican Party on Saturday approved a resolution supporting the abolishment of diversity, equity and inclusion policies in public institutions.
The resolution comes as Alabama policymakers continue to take aim at so-called “divisive concepts” in Alabama public schools, namely Critical Race Theory. State Rep. Ed Oliver, R-Dadeville, who was one of the resolution’s cosponsors, is expected to carry a bill filed by State Sen. Will Barfoot, R-Pike Road, during the upcoming regular session that would ban “divisive concepts” in state public schools.
The same bill failed to reach final passage during the previous legislative session.
DEI policies seek to advance equity and inclusion by acknowledging and promoting the diversity intrinsic in the workforce and public at large and have been widely adopted by originations in the private and public spheres.
In June of 2021, U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order on diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in the federal government in a move to strengthen the government’s ability “to recruit, hire, develop, promote, and retain our Nation’s talent and remove barriers to equal opportunity.”
In Alabama, offices of diversity, equity and inclusion have been widely established at major universities and within city-level governments like Birmingham and Huntsville. The addition of diversity language into state boards, like the Employees’ Retirement System Board of Control and the Alabama Peace Officers Hall of Fame Board has been approved by the legislature in the past, with other attempts aimed at different state entities often failing to reach final enactment.
The resolution passed by ALGOP argues that “these established bureaucracies and policies have, ironically, not fulfilled their claim but have actually stifled intellectual diversity, prevented equal opportunity and discriminated against anyone who dissents from these policies.”
The resolution further describes DEI policies as having “bloated public institution organization and structure.”