July 24, 2023

Castro, Veasey, Allred Introduce Resolution Standing Against Republican Attacks on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Efforts in Higher Education

WASHINGTON – Last week, Representatives Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Marc Veasey (TX-33) and Colin Allred (TX-32) led a resolution highlighting the importance of protecting and bolstering diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives at institutions of higher education. The resolution responds to recent Republican-led attacks on diversity efforts in higher education institutions in Texas and across the country. In June, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill into law that bans diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts at public colleges across the state.

“Over the past year, we’ve seen new efforts to undermine programs that recruit and retain faculty and students from underrepresented backgrounds — including the outright banning of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) offices in Texas,” said Representative Joaquin Castro. “Our resolution recognizes that strong DEI programs build stronger campus communities where students can learn from the brilliance of their professors and from each other. DEI benefits everyone — and I thank Reps. Veasey and Allred for working with me to introduce this important statement of our values.”

“Diversity is what makes our country great–it drives innovation and creativity in our classrooms and pushes our nation forward,” said Representative Marc Veasey. “Republican-led attacks on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at universities and colleges will stifle progress and limit opportunities for Black and Brown students, faculty, and staff. We must do all we can to combat this malicious assault on our education system.”

“In Texas, our diversity is a strength that helps us compete and lead our nation in economic growth,” said Representative Colin Allred. “A more representative faculty and staff helps all our students succeed, and should be as diverse as Texas and the student bodies at these great schools. Instead of taking us backward or trying to divide us, our state leaders should focus on delivering real results – like making the cost of higher education more affordable.”

"Our educators know that diversity is a strength, and the National Education Association stands firmly opposed to efforts by politicians around the country that aim to contradict that ideal. We thank Rep. Marc Veasey, Rep. Joaquin Castro, and Rep. Colin Allred for standing on the right side of history alongside our educators around the country under attack." - Marc Egan, Director of Government Relations, National Education Association (NEA).

“It is in our nation’s best interest to ensure that higher education remains accessible to Latino, Black, Indigenous, and Asian American and Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) students as they make up more than half of all students in K-12 and will propel our economy forward. Yet, we know students of color face multiple barriers in their college journey; and recent efforts to undo inclusion, diversity and equity efforts in higher education can negatively complicate the experience these students have on college campuses. Our college campuses should be welcoming, representative and inclusive so that students of color can feel supported to successfully complete their college education,” said Amanda Fernandez, CEO and Founder of Latinos for Education. “We proudly support this resolution as it affirms the importance of inclusion and diversity in higher education.”

“The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) commends the resolution set forth by Representatives Marc Veasey, Colin Allred and Joaquin Castro to recognize the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in higher education. This DEI Resolution makes clear the benefits and importance of embracing and fostering diversity within higher education. Diversity at our colleges and universities strengthens and nourishes, our communities, the economy and our nation as a whole,” said HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores.

The resolution has over 60 original cosponsors, including Reps. Hank Johnson, Sheila Jackson Lee, Lloyd Doggett, Jasmine Crockett, Donald Payne Jr., Vicente Gonzalez, Nydia Velazquez, Raul Grijavla, Louis Frankel, Al Green, Kathy Castor, Grace Napolitano, Shri Thanedar, Veronica Escobar, Darren Soto, Nanette Barragan, Tony Cardenas, Jill Tokuda, Nikema Williams, Dwight Evans, Shontel Brown, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Morgan McGarvey, Jennifer McClellan, Andre Carson, Yvette Clarke, Mark Takano, Jonathan Jackson, Seth Moulton, Janice Schakowsky, Lisa Blunt Rochester, Terri Sewell, Frederica Wilson, Steven Horsford, Sydney Kamlager-Dove, Adriano Espaillat, Troy Carter, Robin Kelly, Maxwell Frost, Suzanne Bonamici, Sara Jacobs, Chuy Garcia, Marilyn Stickland, Ann Kuster, Haley Stevens, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Emanuel Cleaver, Linda Sanchez, Sylvia Garcia, Joyce Beatty, Norma Torres, Katie Porter, Stacey Plaskett, Lizzie Fletcher, Dina Titus, Stephen Lynch, Valerie Foushee, Rashida Tlaib, Ed Case, Madeleine Dean, Greg Casar, and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton.

The resolution has been endorsed by the National Education Association (NEA), Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), UnidosUs, and Latinos for Education.