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Diversity Equity Inclusion (DEI) Programs and North Carolina Public Schools

Source: WGHP

In the midst of the UNC System Board of Governors actively considering removing Diversity Equity Inclusion (DEI) programs from North Carolina public universities, Guilford County Schools’ (GCS) Office for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion is making strides to make sure that every student is included.

Recently, Fox 8 highlighted one of Guilford County’s DEI programs on Native Americans and their culture. 

This program is led by Stephen Bell, who is the American Indian Education Coordinator for GCS. Bell is a proud member of the Lumbee tribe. In his role for GCS, he leads “culture classes” to teach Native American students traditional songs, dances, and lessons about their heritage. These classes happen every Tuesday night. When he is not teaching culture classes, he is visiting schools throughout Guilford County to teach students and faculty lessons about Native American practices and debunk stereotypes.

Bell told Fox 8, “It’s crucial not only for me to support our native students as they are navigating the school district and the school programs, but then also to help our non-native students to make sure that they understand a full history of native people and that native people here in North Carolina still exist.”

As DEI programs are being dismantled and defunded across the country, Bell shares with Fox 8 that programs like this one are invaluable to students. 

If you want to learn more about GCS’ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs, feel free to visit their website.

Right now across the country, many state legislatures are gutting DEI programs and North Carolina is beginning to follow suit. 

During the April 17th UNC System Board of Governors’ University Governance committee meeting, a policy was approved that repeals the university system’s existing law and regulations on DEI.

This policy still has to be approved by the full 24-member board, yet if it is passed then it will take effect immediately.

About a week later, EdNC wrote in an article that the likely decision of the UNC Board of Governors could have ripple effects on other institutions of education, like K-12 and community colleges.  

If DEI is removed from our public schools, it will deeply impact all students. In order to prepare our children to lead in the future, they need a curriculum that is an adequate representation of themselves and the diverse populations of the United States of America. 

How will you get involved to take a stand against the dismantling and defunding of DEI programs?

One way is to sign this petition that is against the elimination of DEI requirements from North Carolina public universities.

Another way is to vote for state legislators and school board candidates that are for DEI programs.
Early voting begins October 17th for the General Election and ends November 2nd. And as always, you can vote on election day, Tuesday, November 5th. Click here to locate your voting location.

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