The National Coalition for Literacy joins the call against Executive Order 13950 disingenuously titled “Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping.”
As our colleagues at TESOL International, the American Council on Education (ACE), and the National Skills Coalition (NSC) have clearly articulated, this order seeks to chill the important dialogues on diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism happening across our country.
2020 has been a year of tragedy in America, including nearly a quarter of a million deaths from COVID-19 and the deaths of black Americans by those sworn to protect them. There are echoes of 1967 when a national commission released the Kerner Commission report that included a call for investing in public programs to support anti-racism efforts, including adult education, as well as a call to action:
It is time now to turn with all the purpose at our command to the major unfinished business of this nation. It is time to adopt strategies for action that will produce quick and visible progress. It is time to make good the promises of American democracy to all citizens-urban and rural, white and black, Spanish-surname, American Indian, and every minority group.
While the language of half a century ago is dated, the leadership shines through. America’s leaders must help us all turn our attention to the unfinished business of addressing structural racism if we are to achieve the promise of America. Instead of leading in this conversation, the Trump administration, as evidenced by the Department of Labor’s new RFI, is trying to end these critical discussions. The National Coalition for Literacy calls for the rescission of Executive Order 13950.