Trump cancels federal racial sensitivity training – Five reasons why this is so wrong

Diverse teams outperform those that are not.

NOTE: Links to several of my previous blogs on the subject of race and racism are at the bottom of this short blog.

As a diversity and inclusion consultant, I was in for a Labor Day weekend shock when my colleague Cecilia Orellana-Rojas, the National Diversity Council’s Senior VP of Strategy and Research, texted me a Forbes article that President Trump has now ordered a ceasing of all federal government employee trainings on racial sensitivity. Link to the Forbes article.

In his pronouncement, Trump is calling diversity training divisive and anti-American, particularly referring to efforts to that promote racial understanding in our nation.

Here are my five reasons why this is so horribly wrong.

1) Diversity training is about building unity, not divisiveness. The purpose of diversity training done right is bring diverse people together to understand the value and strengths each unique person brings to an organization. Diversity training promotes understanding people different from you and treating them with respect.

2) Diversity training is ultimately and totally American, not anti-American. The United States has been built upon diverse people coming from all areas of the world and contributing their gifts and talents to building this “great experiment” (as called by several our country’s founders.) The US’s strength comes from being perhaps the most diverse nation on earth.

3) There are past historical wrongs that do need to be addressed. Yes, even as people came from all over the globe to build a new fantastic nation, there are dark stains on our history that need to be recognized. These include the genocide of the Native Americans that were here before the European settlers, the dehumanizing institution of slavery, and the pushing out of, and the stealing of land from, the first Hispanic settlers in the American southwest.

Movement Like “Black Lives Matter” are working to address systemic racism.


4) The current wrongs and issues in our country need to be addressed, not ignored. Sure, slavery was abolished over 150 years ago, but systemic racism and unfair treatment of our Black population is pervasive and documented. To grow as a country, we must come to face to the realities of systemic racism and start to seriously address it.

5) Relevant diversity strategy and training breeds success. This has been proven in the business world; companies and organizations that “get diversity” outperform their non-diverse peers and are more profitable.  See leading consulting group McKinsey’s report “Diversity Wins and How Inclusion Matters.”

Let us all unite to build a better more inclusive diverse nation and world where together we grow stronger and better.

#   #   #   #   #   #   #   #   #   #   #   #   #   #

Links to several of my past related blogs on this topic

Diversity and Inclusion- Does It Divide Us or Unify Us?

In “Facing the Truth – Racism Still Persists in the USA,” I discuss both personal and institutional racism.

This blog summarizes an excellent book providing an excellent long-term historic view of racism in the US: Divided We Stand – Racism in America from Jamestown to Trump – a Book Review.

Trump cancelled approved plans to place African-American woman Harriett Tubman on our $20 bill

And a recent blog about how Trump reversed the plans to place Harriett Tubman on our $20 bill. 

A guest blog by my cousin Brandon who works as a priason social worker; Five Steps to Reduce the Mass Incarceration of African Americans.

Two cool books on race relations from a University of Chicago Graduate.

#    #    #    #    #    #    #    #    #

Blog author Stan Kimer is a diversity consultant and trainer who handles all areas of workplace diversity and with a deep expertise in LGBTQ+ diversity strategy and training, Unconscious Bias and Employee Resource Groups. Please explore the rest of my website and never hesitate to contact me to discuss diversity training for your organization, or pass my name onto your HR department.  [email protected]

Helping Minorities Get Better Use Of Their Employee Benefits

Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com

One critical diversity, equity and inclusion discussion which may not get much visibility in the workplace is around assuring that employee benefit programs are equally accessible and valuable to the full range of diverse employees.

With the upcoming millennial workforce being 16% more diverse than the baby boomers’ generation, diversity, equity and inclusion is an important aspect that companies and businesses must embrace and continue to strive for. As the push for more diverse inclusive workplaces continues, the way that an HR department helps under-represented minorities access their employee benefits plays an important role. Consider a few of these tips on how to aid in communication with and support of minority employees.

Encourage open communication. An important aspect of helping minority employees better navigate and understand their employee benefits is to make sure that they feel supported by their human resources department, as well as their company as a whole. Making it known that open communication and discussions are not just tolerated but actually welcomed and encouraged can help diverse employees feel more comfortable opening up and asking any questions they may have about their benefits package.

While it is important to have open communication within a team environment, it can also be beneficial to adopt some of those same philosophies for an HR department. When a company has minority employees, they should actively accept feedback, stay open to suggestions, and pay attention to the issues that affect their minority employees directly.


Offer inclusive benefits. While every benefits package does not always look the same, if a company is looking to directly support their minority employees, they must consider inclusive employee benefits and perks that support diversity—as this shows a commitment to creating an all-embracing workplace where individuals’ beliefs, cultures, and orientations are supported.

From offering holiday time to various cultural or religious backgrounds or offering professional development courses and instruction for employees whose backgrounds may not have offered them the same opportunities, there are many ways that companies can begin to create a more welcoming culture.

Photo by LinkedIn Sales Navigator on Unsplash

Discuss where they can save money.   Typically, employee benefits offer affordable, convenient options for employees to receive the types of coverage needed to secure their families and protect their financial well-being. As an HR department, taking this a step further can mean also discussing the areas where employees can save money by forgoing certain benefits and acquiring them on their own.

Life insurance coverage is an example of one of these benefits. Employee-provided life insurance is a great option for individuals that need basic coverage for their salary as an income replacement. But often, this plan isn’t enough coverage for individuals and they can actually find a more affordable and comprehensive plan through a life insurance broker. Because life insurance rates are dependent on many factors including age, health, hobbies, and more, some employees may qualify for lower rates than the set employer-provided plan. Taking time to have these discussions with employees shows that the company cares about more than just the work they do in the office.

Obtain the proper information. To better support minority employees with their benefits, it is helpful to be prepared with the correct information, research, or statistics. By prepping HR with adequate background knowledge, they are given the opportunity to provide better suggestions on how to navigate their benefits. Similarly, learning to adopt different perspectives is a form of having more information.

For some companies, this might include diversity training programs. These various types of training can be especially useful for human resources employees with hiring and promotion processes while also aiding them with the right language and best practices to support all the diverse populations within their organization.

#     #     #     #     #     #     #

As employee benefits are a great incentive for all employees, specifically aiding HR departments with the correct tools to help minority employees get the best use of them is a great way to start creating a more welcoming workspace for all.