Democratic leaders of the House Appropriations Committee have objected to the stoppage of diversity and inclusiveness type training at the State Department and the Agency for International Development, pointing to recent GAO reports finding under-representation of minorities at both, particularly at higher levels.
The stoppage is part of a general hiatus under the administration’s recent executive order barring training on what it termed to be racial scapegoating and stereotyping and anti-American views in training of federal employees, after reports of such content in diversity type training arose.
“Given the department’s longstanding challenges to expand opportunities for people of color in its workforce, the department should be expanding all programs with a demonstrated contribution to strengthening diversity, including training. We request that you rescind this decision immediately and allow all diversity training in the department and USAID to continue,” the letter said.
They said the GAO found that both entities have “continually failed to reflect all of America in its hiring and promotions” which they said have a “pernicious impact on the United States’ ability to advance our interests and values. When whole classes of Americans don’t see themselves in the image the United States presents abroad, they feel alienated from their own government. Similarly, the rest of the world is presented with a distorted vision of who America is and what we stand for.”
It added: “Year after year, the Committee on Appropriations has provided both resources and direction to the department and USAID to expand workforce diversity and to report on the status of such efforts. The suspension of diversity and inclusion training demonstrates a lack of commitment from department leadership to fully pursue this congressionally mandated mission.”
The DoD inspector general meanwhile has announced that it is changing the focus of an audit away from the adequacy of diversity and inclusiveness training at that department to the issue of compliance with the executive order.