[Wsssc] FW: Executive Order on equity training

Joe Holliday jholliday at sbctc.edu
Mon Sep 28 10:40:14 PDT 2020

WSSSC: as promised, here is guidance from our Executive Director, after consultation with the Washington State AG Office, on President Trump's Executive Order regarding equity training. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Joe Holliday
Director, Student Services
Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges
jholliday at sbctc.edu<mailto:jholliday at sbctc.edu>* o: 360-704-4334 * f: 360-704-4418
sbctc.edu<https://www.sbctc.edu/> * Twitter: @SBCTCWashington<https://twitter.com/SBCTCWashington> * Facebook: @WASBCTC<https://www.facebook.com/wasbctc/>

SBCTC Vision:

"Leading with racial equity, our colleges maximize student potential and transform lives within a culture of belonging that advances racial, social, and economic justice in service to our diverse communities."

From: Jan Yoshiwara
Sent: Friday, September 25, 2020 4:40 PM
To: pres-c at lists.ctc.edu<mailto:pres-c at lists.ctc.edu>
Cc: John Boesenberg <jboesenberg at sbctc.edu<mailto:jboesenberg at sbctc.edu>>; Carli Schiffner <cschiffner at sbctc.edu<mailto:cschiffner at sbctc.edu>>; Grant Rodeheaver <grodeheaver at sbctc.edu<mailto:grodeheaver at sbctc.edu>>; Laura McDowell <lmcdowell at sbctc.edu<mailto:lmcdowell at sbctc.edu>>; Arlen Harris <aharris at sbctc.edu<mailto:aharris at sbctc.edu>>; Ha Nguyen <hnguyen at sbctc.edu<mailto:hnguyen at sbctc.edu>>; Julie Walter <jwalter at sbctc.edu<mailto:jwalter at sbctc.edu>>
Subject: Executive Order on equity training

This message will be distributed broadly to president and commission lists.

Presidents and chancellors

President Trump signed an Executive Order on September 22, 2020 prohibiting federal contractors or the use of grant funds to "promote race or sex stereotyping or scapegoating."  A copy of the Executive Order can be viewed at https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-combating-race-sex-stereotyping/.  As a result of this action, a number of questions have come to the State Board.  This message is an attempt to respond.

The  Executive Order impacts the federal workforce and Uniform Services, federal contractors and recipients of federal grant funds.  Although the requirements are similar, the impact to federal contractors and federal grant recipients are different.  Because our understanding is that our colleges are not federal contractors, the focus of this message is on the restrictions in the use of federal grant funds.  If this is not correct and your college has a contract with the federal government, please let us know.

Federal grants support a number of our system's initiatives, programs and operations.  Examples of Federal grants include WIOA, TRIO, BFET and Perkins Funds and, most recently, CARES Act and GEER funds.  The Executive Order prohibits grant recipients from using grant funds to pay for training that "promotes the concepts" that:
(a) one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex;
(b) an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously;
(c) an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex;
(d) members of one race or sex cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race or sex;
(e) an individual's moral character is necessarily determined by his or her race or sex;
(f) an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex;
(g) any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex; or
(h) meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist, or were created by a particular race to oppress another race.

It requires the heads of federal agencies to review their grant programs to identify programs and grant recipients to certify, as a condition of receiving such grant, that it will not use federal funds to promote the above listed concepts.

While the Executive Order is in effect, consistent with the above listed requirements, we advise colleges to not use their federal grant funds to provide DEI training that includes the prohibited elements.  This includes paying for training, training providers and employee salaries while participating in training that includes any of the prohibited elements.  It also applies to students in programs funded by federal grant funds.  Other funds, including state funds, can be used to provide and pay for participation in DEI training without regard to the above listed limitations. (Federal contractors are not allowed to use any funds to pay for programs that include any of the "divisive concepts."  As noted earlier, it is the State Board's understanding that there are no federal contracts within the CTC system.)

Under the heading "Miscellaneous," the Executive Order:

*       Encourages the federal Attorney General to assess "the extent to which the divisive concepts" listed above may contribute to a hostile work environment and give rise to potential liability under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

*       States that the language should not be construed to prohibit academic instruction on the  "divisive concepts," in an objective manner and without endorsement.
I hope this information provides some clarification.  Please let me or John Boesenberg know if you have questions.


[Compass]Jan Yoshiwara
Executive Director
Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges
jyoshiwara at sbctc.edu<mailto:jyoshiwara at sbctc.edu> * o: 360-704-4355
sbctc.edu<https://www.sbctc.edu/> * Twitter: @SBCTCWashington<https://twitter.com/SBCTCWashington> * Facebook: @WASBCTC<https://www.facebook.com/wasbctc/>

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