Omaha nonprofit responds to President Trump’s ban on racial sensitivity training within federal agencies

Published: Oct. 12, 2020 at 6:01 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - In September President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning federal contractors from holding racial sensitivity trainings.

Trump called the trainings “divisive and harmful.”

An Omaha nonprofit, Inclusive Communities, called the executive order shocking.

“It really felt like an extreme kind of attack on ways of being better. And just being accountable,” the business' Deputy Director, Cammy Watkins, said.

The executive order also called the trainings “un-American propaganda.”

“That’s not what these trainings are about. And the idea to make the assumption that they are is misinformed,” she added.

The nonprofit works with local businesses on diversity and inclusion and feared the impacts it could have on their work.

“We also work with government agencies at the local level and at the federal level with Offutt,” the Communications Manager, Krysty Becker, said.

Most companies they work with trusted their work, but some requested additional information to continue their partnerships.

“It wasn’t that they were questioning us. ‘uh, we know you’re part of the problem.' It was more of ‘please, can you send me something? So then I can send this up my chain of command or my supervisors or the leaders of our organizations to show that’s not what they’re doing,'" Watkins explained.

Inclusive Communities continues to speak out. They partnered with similar organizations across the country to put out a joint statement against the executive order.

“I think it’s far more useful to focus on the outcome of these trainings or what happens in them,” the Communications Director for the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice, Sandi Cox, said.

The President and CEO of the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion, Steve Spreitzer said the issue needed to be addressed because it affects people across the country.

“This is one of those things that can’t be left unchallenged because we need to do better by each other," he added.

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