CSWE Statement on Diversity Training Executive Order

Published on : September 24, 2020

Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) President and CEO Darla Spence Coffey, PhD, MSW, today issued the following statement regarding a September 22, 2020, executive order that would limit diversity, racism, and sexism training available for federal employees, contractors, and grantees.

“Social work programs across the country value and respect diversity and inclusiveness, are committed to a learning environment of cultural humility, and exist to prepare social workers to advance equity and justice. As such, the Council on Social Work Education takes issue with the president’s recent executive order, which seeks to obfuscate the reality of institutional and systemic racism and make it harder for federal employees and grantees to understand what racist and sexist practices look like. The president’s misguided order seeks to prevent federal workers and grantees from being given the chance to clearly understand and therefore address racist and sexist practices.”

The scope of the executive order is vague and it is unclear who is affected. It builds on an earlier Office of Management and Budget memo that applied just to internal federal employee training. CSWE invites educators, students, and social workers to pose questions about the order in CSWE Spark. Spark is a free online community and CSWE plans to answer those questions in a timely manner.