WASHINGTON—Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt this week signed an executive order that will prohibit taxpayer funding of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs based on racial preferences. The order will also require state agencies and public institutions of higher education to formally review the necessity and efficiency of DEI positions, departments, activities, procedures, and programs. The Heritage Foundation’s Will Skillman Senior Research Fellow Jonathan Butcher and Visiting Fellow Adam Kissel, who both testified on the issue in Oklahoma, released the following statement:
“Gov. Stitt’s order is a huge advancement for free speech, civil rights, and the restoration of America’s founding ideals across government programs and college campuses.
“DEI programs should never mandate unconstitutional racial preferences or come at the expense of meritocracy and equality under the law.
“Policymakers across the country now have models from Oklahoma, Iowa, Florida, and Texas to end DEI’s discrimination when they return to session next year.”