You have /5 articles left.
Sign up for a free account or log in.

A group of higher education researchers from across the country released a report Wednesday providing what they call “evidence-based expert responses” to critiques of diversity, equity and inclusion policies and practices aired at a Congressional hearing earlier this month.

The report lists eight “DEI Myths,” including that DEI is divisive, that all DEI initiatives place people in one of two categories, privileged and oppressed, that DEI and critical race theory are the same, and that “too-woke” professionals have taken over campuses.

It counters the myths with data, anecdotes and observations from 12 faculty members and administrators who say that DEI initiatives aim to bring students and employees together to learn from each other’s differences, that they account for “tiny fractions” of overall institutional budgets and that DEI professionals rarely have any jurisdiction over classroom curriculums.

According to the report, the House of Representatives’ two-hour hearing held March 7 “overflowed with misinformation, misunderstandings and reckless mischaracterizations.” Republicans described diversity, equity and inclusion offices as a “cancer” and attempted to blame the programs for a rise in antisemitism, but Democrats forcefully pushed back.

“Those of us who know better have too long deemed ridiculous, unsubstantiated claims that DEI obstructionists make unworthy of response. We have dismissed hearings like the one that occurred on Capitol Hill last week as political theatre,” wrote Shaun Harper, lead author of the report and executive director of the University of Southern California Race and Equity Center. “Meanwhile, the campaign to dismantle DEI is very much succeeding, as evidenced by the well-coordinated avalanche of more than 100 legislative bills in 44 states across the country over the past three years.”