ARIZONA DAILY INDEPENDENT: Goldwater Institute Suing ASU For DEI Training

by | Mar 22, 2024 | In The News

An article found on the Arizona Daily Independent writes that this week the Goldwater Institute took a bold stand against forced ideological conformity by suing Arizona State University (ASU) on behalf of Dr. Owen Anderson, a seasoned professor challenging the university’s mandate for faculty to undergo diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training. This move underscores a critical battle for academic freedom and the protection of individual beliefs, as state law expressly prohibits using taxpayer funds for mandatory training that discriminates based on race, ethnicity, and sex, among other characteristics. The Daily Independent notes:

[T]he “ASU Inclusive Communities” training teaches discriminatory DEI concepts, including things like “how…white supremacy [is] normalized in society,” how to “critique whiteness”; “white privilege”; “white fragility”; and the need for “transformative justice.” Even “seemingly innocuous questions and comments”—like asking people where they’re from or commenting on their hair—can be deemed “racist.”

Anderson’s resistance to participating in covert racism is a testament to the necessity of safeguarding conscience rights among professionals within educational institutions. Owen is quoted in the article as saying:

“I shouldn’t be forced to take training and affirm ideas with which I disagree as a condition of employment,” Owen says. “This ‘training’ is simply racism under the guise of DEI. It goes against my conscience, and I want no part of it.”

Goldwater’s lawsuit claims that ASU’s DEI initiatives clearly deviate from Arizona’s legal framework designed to ensure fairness and equality. Stacy Skankey, Goldwater’s staff attorney states in the article:

“Arizona state law prohibits mandatory training for state employees and use of taxpayer resources to teach doctrines that discriminate based on race, ethnicity, sex, and other characteristics.”

Read the full story here.

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