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ACLU Lays Map to Combat Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Threats

The American Civil Liberties Union has released a memo analyzing potential anti-DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) policies that the legal organization said could come from a second-term Donald Trump presidency.

“Trump plans to intensify efforts to eradicate DEI programing and inclusive education, banning books and censoring curricula on race, gender, and the lived experiences and contributions of marginalized groups in classrooms,” said Kim Conway, senior policy counsel of the ACLU's Democracy Division. “It’s important for Americans to realize that this is a First Amendment issue, as much as it is a civil rights issue. Trump and his supporters are proposing to control what we think and learn by using the government to censor a viewpoint it doesn’t like out of existence.”

Former President Donald TrumpFormer President Donald TrumpAP Photo/Julia NikhinsonTrump on DEI and Anti-Discrimination Law: Rolling Back the Clock on Racial Justice and Equality, which includes an accompanying blog summary, is a roadmap comprising legal, legislative, and advocacy actions the ACLU would take in response to the policies should the former president win in November and implement them.

Such actions would include litigation challenging the policies in federal court, lobbying Congress to vote against anti-DEI bills, work with states and municipalities to advance civil rights protections, and disseminating relevant guidance and support to educational institutions.

ACLU leaders expect — based on Trump’s own campaign promises and policy proposals under the Project 2025 policy agenda — policies that censor academic discussions about race, gender, and systemic oppression. They also anticipate policies that abandon civil rights enforcement on behalf of individuals from historically marginalized groups and amplified right-wing attacks on educational, employment, and economic opportunity initiatives.

The memo is the fourth of seven the ACLU is releasing on policies — regarding immigration, LGBTQ rights, abortion, criminal legal system, voting rights, and surveillance, protest, and free speech rights — it expects from a possible second Trump administration.

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