American Association for Access, Equity, and Diversity Commends President Biden on Revoking EO 13950 and Advancing a Comprehensive Equity Agenda
Organization of Equal Opportunity Professionals Sought an End to This Unconstitutional Order on Race and Gender Stereotyping
Washington, DC, January 21, 2021 – The American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity (AAAED), an association of equal opportunity, affirmative action and diversity professionals, commended the swift action taken by President Joe Biden on January 20th, the day of his inauguration, to revoke Executive Order 13950 (EO) on Combating Race and Gender Stereotyping. The revocation was part of Biden’s new Order “On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.”
Order 13950, signed by President Trump on September 22, 2020, required contractors, subcontractors, vendors, and, arguably, grantees to censor any use of language that falls within its highly vague definitions of “divisive concepts,” “race or sex stereotyping,” and “race or sex scapegoating.” AAAED issued a statement in opposition to EO 13950 on September 29, 2020 after the President's Order was issued. The Association wrote, "This Order flies in the face of the First Amendment and burdens Federal agencies with the role of a content review board." AAAED also joined the National Urban League and the National Fair Housing Alliance in contesting the constitutionality of the Trump order in federal court.
In meetings with the Biden Transition teams, AAAED called on the incoming Administration to immediately rescind the Order.
President Biden’s order not only revokes EO 13950, it mandates actions to actively promote diversity. In Section 1 of the Order, it reads: “Our country faces converging economic, health, and climate crises that have exposed and exacerbated inequities, while a historic movement for justice has highlighted the unbearable human costs of systemic racism.” The Order calls for a government-wide equity agenda to address the challenges that the nation faces. It further calls on federal agencies to identify and address the barriers to equal opportunity that their programs may present.
Dr. Richard Baker, president of AAAED, stated, "We applaud the Biden Administration for articulating unequivocally the need for our government to embrace its role in identifying the roadblocks to equity and inclusion, including systemic racism and the more subtle obstacles that have a disparate impact on disadvantaged minorities and other groups. We commend the President for seeking a holistic strategy to remove these barriers to equal opportunity in federal programs.”
"In our collective fight for equal justice and against systems of discrimination, we all must do what we can to make sure that we are able to learn and work in environments that are free from bigotry and bias," added Dr. Baker. "We look forward to working with President Biden, Vice President Harris and members of the administration to implement this important order,” he stated.
For a copy of AAAED's Statement on EO 13950, click here:
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Founded in 1974 as the American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA), AAAED is a national not-for-profit association of professionals working in the areas of equal opportunity, compliance and diversity. The longest-serving representative of individuals in the equal opportunity and diversity professions, AAAED has 46 years of leadership providing quality professional training to practitioners and promoting understanding and advocacy of affirmative action and other equal opportunity laws. Nearly one-half of its membership is composed of EEO professionals working for academic institutions.
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