Racist programs and activities do not belong in our state. But in the name of so-called “progress,” they have taken Arizona’s universities by storm. This isn’t the way it was supposed to be. Back in 2010, our state’s voters passed Proposition 107. This amendment to Arizona’s Constitution banned affirmative action programs in the state that were administered by statewide or local units of government, including state agencies, cities, counties, and school districts. But the left found a loophole and has been working to exploit it ever since.

Using words that sound harmless like “diversity,” “equity,” and “inclusion” (DEI), our universities have been flying under the radar in an attempt to indoctrinate students and bring racial discrimination back to campus.

At ASU, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication currently requires some of its students to take a course called, “Diversity and Civility at Cronkite.” And the Goldwater Institute recently revealed that more than 100 classes offered in ASU’s Spring 2024 catalog include terms like “diversity,” “equity,” and “inclusion.” The University of Arizona’s medical schools in Tucson and Phoenix have been the epitome of DEI best practices—with DEI offices, requirements to complete six hours of DEI credit, and more. And NAU has launched multiple initiatives to increase the number of Native American and Hispanic science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) graduates, including revising graduate admissions processes to increase inclusivity and diversity.

But it’s not just students who have been affected by DEI programs.

Last year, the Goldwater Institute issued a report that Arizona’s public universities were compelling job applicants to pledge support for progressive, racialized notions of DEI-based terminology in order to be hired. The report showed that as of the Fall of 2022, ASU required diversity statements from approximately 81 percent of job applicants. NAU required diversity statements from 73 percent of job applicants. And the University of Arizona required diversity statements from 28 percent of job applicants.

It’s no wonder why our state’s universities appear to grow more woke every single day! It’s literally been a requirement just to apply!

While all three universities eliminated the use of diversity statements for job applicants in August of last year after Goldwater’s report, that hasn’t stopped them from trying to enforce conformity with their DEI agenda. ASU itself mandates that employees complete inclusiveness training every two years, which includes topics like:

    • Affirmative action
    • Diversity in the workplace
    • How to strategically address social justice matters in the workplace
    • Implicit bias and microaggressions
    • Implicit bias in recruitment
    • Tackling implicit bias and microaggressions

This is what your tax dollars are being used for—multiple required trainings for university faculty on microaggressions. It’s outrageous.

Thankfully, Goldwater is suing on behalf of a popular ASU professor who objects to these trainings, and while that is critical, it’s equally important to prohibit DEI and other race-based programs at our state universities through Arizona’s Constitution.

That’s why SCR 1019/HCR 2056 are the perfect solution.

Sponsored by Sen. Anthony Kern (SCR 1019) and Rep. Steve Montenegro (HCR 2056), these bills would refer to the ballot an amendment to Arizona’s Constitution that would prohibit the state from forcing someone to endorse giving preferential treatment to or discriminating against anyone based on race or ethnicity as a condition of any hiring, promoting, or contracting decision.

But perhaps most importantly, these bills would put the issue of DEI in front of voters and give the people of Arizona a chance to make their voices heard. And just like they did back in 2010 with affirmative action, there’s no doubt that Arizonans would make it clear that they want DEI out of our state universities.

America was founded on the principle of the inherent and equal dignity of every person as an individual. But the left doesn’t believe this. That’s why they’re trying to stop this crucial ballot referral. It’s time to end the indoctrination and racial discrimination that come with DEI policies on our university campuses. Let’s give voters the chance to prohibit these racist policies for good.

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