Here’s How Much Federal Diversity Trainings Cost Taxpayers in 2023

By Published on January 3, 2024

The Biden administration spent millions on diversity trainings for federal agencies, including some for the armed forces, in 2023.

Taxpayers were on the hook for the more than $16.3 million the federal government spent on diversity trainings taking place in 2023, according to a government spending database. Past government diversity trainings have instructed federal workers that asking an Asian colleague for help with a math problem could be racist, that men can become pregnant and that “social pain” can be the same as physical pain.

The Air Force, Navy, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), National Park Service, National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, Department of Education and Department of Veterans Affairs were among the government bodies shelling out millions for diversity trainings.

The Daily Caller News Foundation’s analysis of federal spending only included contracts awarded to third-party diversity training providers or consultants; the cost of in-house training was not included.

Many of the diversity consulting firms the federal government is paying to administer training are open about the left-wing ideas they push. Ivy Planning Group, a diversity consultancy the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Education collectively paid about $200,000 to in 2023, is one such firm.

Ivy’s mission is to “pursue organizational diversity, equity, and inclusion through an enterprise business lens,” according to its website.

The firm warns clients to be cautious of “MicroTriggers” which it says “are subtle, seemingly unimportant communications that can negatively impact an individual’s performance and confidence.” Ivy even sells a “MicroTriggers” button clients can buy for $30 that, when pushed, says “MicroTrigger!” and can be used as “a light-hearted way to spark conversations and to introduce accountability for subtle behaviors,” according to the organization’s webpage.

In a guide published by Ivy on how clients can reduce unconscious bias, they encourage individuals to not be colorblind in relation to race. Ivy published another guide on “name privilege.”

A NASA diversity training, similarly, said that attempts to be colorblind “limit us.”

Not every organization the feds paid for diversity trainings was a traditional diversity consultancy.

The Department of Labor, for instance, paid Cornell University more than $670,000 for its diversity trainings services.

A brochure for one of Cornell’s diversity trainings shows that organizations that pay for a training receive a “Check Your Privilege” tool and are taught about microaggressions, among other things. One of Cornell’s trainings also assigns participants a paper on white privilege by feminist and anti-racist scholar Peggy McIntosh.

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McIntosh claims that white privilege allows white people to “talk with [their] mouth full” without that behavior being attributed to their race, “not have to educate [their] children to be aware of systemic racism for their own daily physical protection” and not be made “acutely aware” that their body odor may be seen as a reflection of their race. She also says white people should “shut up” and listen to people of color.

In addition to federal bureaucrats, members of the armed forces were also subjected to diversity trainings.

The Navy and the Air Force spent $232,300 on contracts for diversity trainings taking place in 2023. One contract worth $91,000 paid the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, an orchestra with a “visible commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion,” to give the United States Air Force Band diversity seminars.

The Air Force will miss its 2024 recruitment goal by about 10%, marking the first time in almost two decades that the branch will miss its goal. The Navy, likewise, missed its 2023 recruiting goals by about 20%.

Critics have argued that diversity initiatives and lower physical fitness standards are contributing to the difficulties the armed forces are facing with recruitment.

President Joe Biden has been an ardent supporter of expanding diversity programs in the federal government.

Biden signed an executive order in June 2021 commanding federal agencies to increase their diversity programming, saying that “such training programs should enable federal employees, managers and leaders to have knowledge of systemic and institutional racism and bias.”

None of the agencies mentioned responded to the DCNF’s requests for comment. The Air Force could not be reached for comment.

 

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