Message to Our Stakeholders
To our Clients, Colleagues and Friends,
Many of you are aware of the Executive Order (EO) M-20-34 signed on September 22, 2020 and published on September 28, 2020, addressing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) training within the Federal Government. The order is applicable to all Federal Government agency employees and the employees of organizations identified as Federal Contractors and grantees. Contractors range from large organizations such as defense contractors to small companies and individual consultants. In the spirit of full disclosure, we are one of the organizations that contract and partner with the Federal Government in important initiatives including DE&I efforts.
In a nutshell, this order requires every agency to determine and report how much was and is projected to be spent on diversity and inclusion related education and training. Agencies are being directed to conduct extensive reviews of existing and planned programs to identify any use of the terms “critical race theory,” “white privilege,” “intersectionality,” “systemic racism,” “positionality,” “racial humility” and “unconscious bias.” We have learned that a significant portion of the Federal Government has cancelled all DE&I training until further notice as a result of the order.
To say we are disheartened is an understatement. The work we, and countless others, do promotes awareness, understanding, dialogue and, ultimately, more inclusive cultures. We are talking to many CEOs and leaders at all levels who recognize it is time to make real change in their organizations for individuals to feel safe, to be engaged and to know that they belong. These leaders are learning what it really takes to create diverse, inclusive and equitable workplaces where the talent inside the walls can bring their best to their work every day.
To understand where we are today, we need to understand history…all of it. We need to become comfortable with being uncomfortable because that’s where change happens. To get to the place where we understand our biases and how they play out in the workplace and in our lives, we must learn how we are different and, most importantly, how we are the same. Learning about the experiences of others enables us to gain broader perspectives and become more effective in working with others whose journeys have been different from our own.
We are committed to our clients – to meet you where you are and to ensure this critical work moves forward. We are partnering with existing and potential clients to tailor our products and services as needed to address concerns regarding the EO directives and to continue to provide the highest levels of impact possible.
We know many of you are facing tough issues within your organizations as the challenges we are experiencing in our society permeate the workplace and the marketplaces you serve. The opening for change – created by many years of countless tragedies and culminating in 2020 – must be seized upon and acted upon. We cannot ignore this opportunity for real change. We owe it to ourselves, to our workplaces, to our communities and to one another.