The Value of Protecting and Preserving Diversity & Inclusion

By Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson
30th Congressional District Texas in the US House of Representatives

Last month, President Trump issued Executive Order 13950, ironically titled “Combatting Race and Sex Stereotyping”. This Administration’s draconian policy rolled back several previously required diversity and inclusion (D&I) training programs in the federal workforce. Once used to inform and advise employees as to the best practices for a safe and inclusive work environment, diversity and inclusion federal programs have been essential to employee performance and creating a healthy organizational culture that is respectful of others in the workplace.

As an active response, I readily joined my Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) colleague, U.S. House of Representatives’ Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03), in introducing legislation to protect as well as preserve the D&I trainings in federal departments, agencies, and certain private entities. Specifically, our bill, H.R. 8595, would nullify the President’s executive order; therefore, reinstating the training programs and reaffirming our commitment to a more diverse and equitable workplace. 

As Chairwoman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, I have and will continue to address systemic racism in the scientific, technical, and medical workforces. And my Science Committee remains committed to supporting any similar, broader legislation doing so. Our country has made significant strides towards the inclusion of women, minorities, and immigrants who contribute to the bottom-line productivity of the American labor force resulting in a stronger economy. 

America is a multinational country that sets the global standard for being an exemplary melting pot. If we are to fully reach our social and economic potential, we must embrace our differences with both open hearts and minds. Our global competitiveness depends on it, our innovative culture depends on it, and the success of future generations depend on it.

Congresswoman Eddie B Johnson represents the 30th congressional district of Texas in the United States House of Representatives, where she chairs the House Committee on Science Space and Technology.