Lambda Legal calls on court to halt ban on diversity trainings

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(Image by succo from Pixabay)

SAN FRANCISCO — Lambda Legal urged a federal district court to halt the Trump administration’s ban on federal contractors and grantees from conducting workplace diversity trainings.

The advocacy group filed a lawsuit last week to challenge the ban, a Lambda Legal statement said.

The ban would bar businesses and organizations receiving federal money from conducting work that explicitly acknowledges and confronts the existence of structural racism and sexism.

“The Trump administration has been characterized by its disdain of everyone it considers an other, and its efforts to squash the truth. Even as the sun sets on it, this administration seeks to suppress the truth about the harms of systemic racism and sexism, and implicit bias,” said Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, senior attorney at Lambda Legal. “We are under no illusions as to the long-term damage the Trump administration can inflict on its way out the door.”

“Black and Brown LGBTQ and gender nonconforming youth and adults are disproportionately represented in the youth and criminal justice systems,” said Bernadette E. Brown, proprietor of B. Brown Consulting. “From interaction with law enforcement to incarceration they face inequitable treatment and harm, including sexual victimization. Addressing systemic racism and implicit bias within the justice systems is essential to ending this epidemic and protecting youth and adults from harm.”

“Disparities with respect to both Covid-19 and HIV/AIDS are also shocking,“ Gonzalez-Pagan added. “Black and Brown people are more likely to get sick, and more likely to die as a result of systemic racism and sexism, structural inequities, and the role of explicit and implicit bias on the part of health care providers.”

The consultancy plaintiff is B. Brown Consulting, a Michigan-based business with a federal contract to train correctional facility staff, governmental agencies, and nonprofits. The individual plaintiff is Dr. Ward Carpenter, co-director of Health Services at LA LGBT Center. The organizational plaintiffs include: the Los Angeles LGBT Center; The Diversity Center in Santa Cruz, CA; AIDS Foundation of Chicago; CrescentCare in New Orleans, LA; Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown, PA; and, SAGE, based in New York City. The lawsuit is The Diversity Center v. Trump. Read the brief here: https://www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/legal-docs/diversity-center_us_20201117_plaintiffs-motion-preliminary-injunction.

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