ASM Urges Repeal of E.O. Restricting Evidence-Based Diversity Training Programs

Jan. 11, 2021

On September 22, 2020, President Trump issued Executive Order (EO) 13950, Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping. The Executive Order sets forth the policy of the United States “not to promote race or sex stereotyping or scapegoating” and prohibits federal contractors from inculcating such views in their employees in workplace diversity and inclusion trainings. ASM issued a statement shortly after highlighting concerns these executive actions run counter to current efforts by federal agencies, contractors and grantees to foster a more inclusive and equitable work environment and are detrimental to efforts to address discrimination based on race or gender identity. 

On Jan. 8, 2021, ASM joined over 70 organizations in submitting the following letter to the incoming Biden-Harris Administration calling for the repeal of Trump's "misguided" EO.

Dear President-Elect Biden:
cc: U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Senate

On behalf of the nearly 75 public health organizations listed below, we urge that, upon your inauguration, you move swiftly to rescind Executive Order (EO) 13950, Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping, which was signed by President Trump on September 22, 2020. The chilling effect of EO 13950 on our collective efforts to advance our nation’s public health has been swift and alarming. Our organizations have long worked to ensure the health, well-being, safety and prosperity of all people in our nation, and we share the belief that the goals of EO 13950 are misguided.

At its core, racism and social injustice of any kind is a public health crisis. Today, our country is in the grips of a global pandemic of historic proportions. Each day, the pandemic inflicts disproportionate damage on communities that have been historically disenfranchised and marginalized. The need to support systemic efforts to bolster diversity, equity and inclusion has never been greater. This EO presents a very real barrier to evidence-based diversity programs and equity-related initiatives across all federal agencies, their grantees and contractors.

Many of our society’s systems and structures have created unjust barriers that limit opportunities for people based on their race, gender, sexual orientation and country of origin. These systems and structures reinforce racism, sustain social injustices and violate the most basic of human rights. As a result of these structural inequities, many people in our country lack job opportunities and living wages, access to quality education, healthy food, safe neighborhoods, quality housing or basic healthcare. Additionally, these circumstances can create or exacerbate many adverse issues, including child abuse and neglect, domestic violence and community violence. We believe that these systemic and structural barriers undermine our collective efforts to advance the health, well-being and prosperity of all people.

Racial equity conversations serve as a catalyst for change, moving diverse communities in a unified approach toward achieving equitable opportunities and health outcomes for all marginalized groups. Thoughtful trainings in the workplace help build awareness and dialogue, produce transformative ideas and implement sustainable solutions that improve our nation’s public health.

Our government must work to ensure that everyone – regardless of their race, orientation, nationality or country of origin – has an opportunity to achieve economic, educational and personal prosperity throughout their lifetimes.

We look forward to working with you to rescind EO 13950. Furthermore, we offer ourselves as a resource on many other policies that have the potential to significantly improve our nation’s health and quality of life.


America Walks
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Association for Dental Research
American Association of Colleges of Nursing
American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP)
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
American Heart Association
American Physical Therapy Association
American Public Health Association
American Society for Microbiology
American Trauma Society
APLA Health
Association for Prevention Teaching and Research
Association for Psychological Science
Association of College & University Housing Officers – International (ACUHO-I)
Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs
Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL)
Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health
Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
Big Cities Health Coalition
Brain Injury Association of America
California Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
CHANGE (The Center for Health and Gender Equity)
Child Welfare League of America
Colorado Association for School-Based Health Care
Commissioned Officers Association of the U.S. Public Health Service, Inc. (COA)
Committee for Children
Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA)
Eating Disorders Coalition for Research, Policy & Action
Entomological Society of America (ESA)
Epilepsy Foundation
Futures Without Violence
GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality
Health Resources in Action
Healthcare Ready
HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute
Housing Works, Inc.
Illinois Public Health Association
Iowa Public Health Association
John Snow, Inc. (JSI)
Johnson County Public Health, IA
Life Paths Research Center
Mamatoto Village
Maryland Public Health Association
Massachusetts Public Health Association
National Alliance to End Sexual Violence
National Association of Chronic Disease Directors
National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities
National Association of State Head Injury Administrators
National Environmental Health Association (NEHA)
National Health Care for the Homeless Council
National Network of Public Health Institutes
National Nurse-Led Care Consortium
National Prevention Science Coalition to Improve Lives
National Recreation and Park Association 
National Safety Council
New Jersey Society for Public Health Education
NIRSA: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation
Prevent Child Abuse America
Prevention Institute
Public Health Management Corporation
Public Health-Seattle & Dr. Martin Luther King County
REDC Consortium
Safe States Alliance
SAVIR (Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research)
Treatment Action Group
Trust for America’s Health
UNC Hospitals Trauma Program
Unites States People Living with HIV Caucus (US PLHIV)
Utah Public Health Association
Washington State Department of Health

Author: ASM Advocacy

ASM Advocacy
ASM Advocacy is making it easy and providing opportunities for members to advocate for evidence-based scientific policy.