Alabama lawmakers pass legislation that bans state funding of DEI, restricts teaching ‘divisive concepts’

Alabama’s GOP-controlled Legislature passed sweeping legislation that would prohibit state funding of diversity, equity and inclusion programs at public colleges and universities, local boards of education and government agencies, and that would limit teachings on “divisive concepts” at public colleges and universities.The legislation limits teaching “divisive concepts” about race and gender at public colleges and universities and requires transgender students to use the bathroom that aligns with their biological sex.The measure defines “divisive concepts” as casting “fault, blame or bias” to any race, religion, gender or nationality.Concepts including teachings that a person is “inherently responsible for actions committed in the past” or that a person should “accept, acknowledge, affirm or assent to a sense of guilt, complicity or a need to apologize” based on their race, religion, gender or background are also considered divisive under the legislation.COLLEGE DEI CRACKDOWN PASSES ALABAMA SENATEDEI programs and discussions are still allowed on campuses as long as they do not use state funds.Republican state Rep. Ed Oliver, a lead sponsor of the bill, criticized DEI initiatives for attempting to “deepen divisions, set up race-exclusionary programs and indoctrinate students into a far-left political ideology.” Meanwhile, Democrats have raised questions about whether the restrictions in the legislation are constitutional and about the impact on black students, faculty and staff.More than 30 states across the country have introduced legislation targeting diversity and inclusion initiatives at public colleges and universities.Colleges and universities in Florida and Texas have started eliminating DEI positions in response to the GOP efforts to rid education of DEI.NAACP URGE BLACK ATHLETES TO ‘RECONSIDER’ PLAYING AT FLORIDA COLLEGES DUE TO ANTI-DEI BILLLast week, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, or NAACP, called on black student-athletes to boycott Florida universities following a new state policy banning public and state institutions from using government funds on equity and inclusion programs.At least eight of Alabama’s public colleges and universities have a specific office dedicated to DEI initiatives. These institutions spent a combined $16 million on diversity efforts such as campus cultural events and programs.The legislation now heads to Republican Gov. Kay Ivey’s desk. If signed into law, it will go into effect Oct. 1. 
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